Holland, Michigan is poised to be the western anchor for a web of advanced energy storage (aka battery) manufacturing facilities that will serve the surging electric vehicle market. In ten years, the new plants are expected to bring 62,000 new jobs to the middle chunk of the state – a welcome relief for cities like Holland, which is currently experiencing about 15% unemployment.
A considerable amount of federal support is going into the effort. As reported by The Detroit News, in a recent visit to the Rust Belt town, President Obama attended the groundbreaking for one of the new plants, a 650,000 square foot behemoth for Compact Power, Inc., a subsidiary of the South Korea based company LG Chem. The plant is being funded by a $151 million American Recovery and Reinvestment Act grant, matched by Compact. In an interesting twist, one of the plant’s new customers, Eaton Corporation, will apply its energy efficiency know-how to optimize energy use at the new facility.