FOCUS: It’s almost harvest time (for electric tractors)

 

Companies in business for nearly two centuries are as dependable as they are shrewd. They anticipate customers’ needs, innovate, and deliver. And they do this again and again and again.

That’s why John Deere’s Aug. 14 announcement that it’s building a plant to produce more batteries and chargers is noteworthy – it’s the latest sign that America’s economy is rapidly electrifying, from the farmer’s field on up. 

Deere’s was one of 18 major clean economy announcements that companies made across the country last month, amounting to 9,529 new jobs and more than $6 billion in investments. All told, since the Inflation Reduction Act was announced just over a year ago, E2 has tracked 223 projects across more than three-dozen states amounting to about 75,000 jobs and $88 billion in investments.

A welder at John Deere’s plant in Kernersville, N.C. The iconic manufacturer announced in August it will expand its operations there to make batteries and chargers. (Photo courtesy of John Deere)

Deere’s new 115,000 square-foot plant will be in Kernersville, N.C., adjacent to another the company has operated since 1988. The facility is expected to help Deere, founded in 1837, produce more than 20 electric and hybrid electric models for the construction market by 2026, including excavators, forklifts and wheel loaders. It could also help roll out an autonomous, battery-powered electric utility tractor for the agricultural market, also by 2026.

 “[W]e are prioritizing the development of a robust charging ecosystem and battery portfolio that can support and sustain the long-term adoption of electrification across a wide variety of applications,” said Pierre Guyot, SVP of John Deere Power Systems and Chairman of Kreisel, an Austrian battery company in which Deere acquired a majority stake last year.

The $69 million Deere project is expected to create about 50 jobs in North Carolina, with an average annual pay of more than $60,000. Occupations include assemblers, material handlers, packagers and quality inspectors.

The announcement was part of another big month for EV projects in the South. Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee each had at least one major EV project announcement. There were also billion-dollar solar manufacturing announcements in both Louisiana and New Mexico; grid announcements in Waukesha, Wisc., and Nacogdoches, Texas; and Singapore-based Bila Solar said it’s investing $35 million to repurpose an old Eli Lilly factory in Indianapolis, where Bila will also establish its new U.S. headquarters, creating some 240 new jobs.

OPPORTUNITIES

Biden-Harris administration announces $30 million to build up domestic supply chain for critical minerals

The Energy Department announced up to $30 million to help lower the costs of the onshore production of rare earths and other critical minerals and materials from domestic coal-based resources, including coal, coal waste and associated by-products. Rare earths and other critical minerals are key to U.S. manufacturing of clean energy technologies – such as solar panels, wind turbines, electric vehicles, and hydrogen fuel cells. Extracting these materials creates good-paying jobs in communities that have historically produced fuels and electric power from fossil energy resources, supporting the Biden-Harris Administration’s commitment to revitalize energy communities. Read more.

 Biden-Harris administration announces $100 million to transform climate pollution into sustainable products

The Energy Department is making $100 million available to support states, local governments and public utilities in purchasing products derived from converted carbon emissions. The goal is to speed up adoption of advanced carbon management technologies, creating a market for environmentally sustainable alternatives in fuels, chemicals and building products sourced from captured emissions from industrial and power generation facilities. Read more. 

DOE announces $46 million to boost energy efficiency and slash emissions from buildings

DOE’s Buildings Energy Efficiency Frontiers and Innovation Technologies (BENEFIT) funding opportunity will provide $46 million to 29 projects across 15 states. The funding will support building technologies and retrofit practices that will create healthier households and communities and reduce energy waste. Read more.

Department of Energy announces up to $4.7 million for manufacturing cybersecurity innovation

The U.S. Department of Energy announced a new request for proposals (RFP) for up to $4.7 million to enhance cybersecurity within American manufacturing. This RFP, which will focus on energy efficient cybersecure manufacturing, is soliciting projects within three industrial use cases – industrial control systems, secure industrial digitization and industrial additive manufacturing. Read more.

AUGUST CLEAN ENERGY ANNOUNCEMENTS

IN AUGUST, E2 TRACKED 18 PROJECT ANNOUNCEMENTS ACROSS 12 STATES THAT ARE EXPECTED TO DRIVE MORE THAN $6 BILLION IN PRIVATE-SECTOR INVESTMENTS AND CREATE 9,529 JOBS.

ALABAMA (Auburn): Gov. Ivey announces auto parts maker Shinhwa plans $114 million Alabama expansion, creating 50 jobs in Auburn; August 15

  •   Industry: EVs
  •   Est. Jobs: 50
  •   Est. Investment: $114 million

CALIFORNIA (Garden Grove): EV company Harbinger Motors signs lease with Rexford in SoCal; August 28

  •   Industry: EVs
  •   Est. Jobs: 160

CALIFORNIA (Imperial County): Stellantis invests in CTR to strengthen low emissions U.S. lithium production; August 17

  •   Industry: EVs
  •   Est. Investment: $100 million

GEORGIA (Bryan County): Gov. Kemp: Hyundai Motor Group and LG Energy Solution to invest additional $2 billion in Bryan County; August 31

  •   Industry: EVs
  •   Est. Jobs: 400
  •   Est. Investment: $2 billion

GEORGIA (West Point): Gov. Kemp: Automotive supplier Daesol Ausys Georgia to Invest $72 million in Harris County; August 29

  •   Industry: EVs
  •   Est. Jobs: 140
  •   Est. Investment: $72 million

ILLINOIS (Niles): Gov. Pritzker & MicroLink Devices announce manufacturing expansion in Niles as part of REV Illinois; August 24

  •   Industry: Solar
  •   Est. Jobs: 9
  •   Est. Investment: $9.5 million

INDIANA (Indianapolis): Bila Solar launching plant, making Indianapolis its U.S. headquarters; August 29

  •   Industry: Solar
  •   Est. Jobs: 240
  •   Est. Investment: $35 million

LOUISIANA (New Iberia): First Solar to invest $1.1 billion to build solar panel manufacturing facility in Acadiana; August 10

  •   Industry: Solar
  •   Est. Jobs: 700
  •   Est. Investment: $1.1 billion

 NORTH CAROLINA (Kernersville): John Deere Electric Powertrain to invest $69 million for its North American HQ and new battery production operations in Kernersville; August 14

  •   Industry: EVs
  •   Est. Jobs: 50
  •   Est. Investment: $69 million

NEW MEXICO (Mesa Del Sol): Maxeon Solar Technologies selects Albuquerque as site for new 3-gigawatt solar cell and panel manufacturing facility; August 10

  •   Industry: Solar
  •   Est. Jobs: 1,800
  •   Est. Investment: $1 billion

NEVADA (Las Vegas): Solar parts manufacturer plans to triple operations in Nevada; August 7

  •   Industry: Solar
  •   Est. Jobs: 200

 PUERTO RICO (Aguadilla): Great Lakes Solex plans to open solar panel facility in Aguadilla; August 15

  •   Industry: Solar
  •   Est. Jobs: 800

TENNESSEE (Louden): International company bringing 600 new jobs to Loudon County; August 2

  •   Industry: EVs
  •   Est. Jobs: 600
  •   Est. Investment: $170 million

TEXAS (Kyle): XCharge NA’s new Texas facility boosts EV charging solutions; August 2

  •   Industry: EVs

TEXAS (Nacogdoches): Gov. Abbott announces Eaton facility expansion in Nacogdoches; August 8

  •   Industry: Grid, Transmission and Electrification
  •   Est. Jobs: 218
  •   Est. Investment: $100 million

TEXAS (Pleasure Island): A new wind farm in Port Arthur will be bringing jobs to the area; August 29

  •   Industry: Wind
  •   Est. Jobs: 150
  •   Est. Investment: $1.23 billion

WISCONSIN (Kenosha): Siemens to begin manufacturing solar inverters in U.S.; August 15

  •   Industry: Solar
  •   Est. Jobs: 12

 WISCONSIN (Waukesha): Increase in demand drives Eaton expansion; August 15

  •   Industry: Grid, Transmission and Electrification
  •   Est. Jobs: 150
  •   Est. Investment: $22 million

ABOUT THIS ANALYSIS

This analysis is based on publicly available information for new clean energy projects, expansions, and renewed productions only announced since the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed on August 16, 2022. Projects that began development, were proposed, or applied for local and state approval before the passage of the IRA are not included. For more information on other projects that stand to benefit to benefit from clean energy investments in different ways, see other resources below from the White House, Climate Power, the Climate Action Campaign, American Clean Power, and Energy Innovation.

OTHER RESOURCES

Investing in America | Invest.gov | Interactive map that illustrates the impact of these record-breaking levels of public and private investment across states and territories under the Biden Administration.

Clean Energy Projects Tracker | ClimatePower.us | Climate Power’s analysis includes public announcements of clean energy developments that have been proposed, launched or advanced since the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA).

Climate Wins Here Map | ActOnClimate.com | Interactive map off federal investments made in nationwide through the IRA and Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act.

Clean Energy Investing in America | CleanPower.org | Analysis of utility-scale  clean energy investments announced since August 16, 2022.

Federal Clean Energy Tax Credit Benefits By State | EnergyInnovation.org | Analysis of potential state-level benefits from the IRA on economic growth, jobs, and public health in the 48 contiguous states, focusing on clean electricity and clean vehicle tax credits.

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