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Clean energy news: December 2022

ElectraMeccanica relocates headquarters from Canada to Mesa

ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. sees bigger plans for its Mesa plant. It was once planned to be just the future manufacturer of its single-seat, three-wheel Solo model, but ElectraMeccanica (Nasdaq: SOLO) announced it would make the new 235,000-square-foot Mesa assembly and technical facility its new corporate headquarters. ElectraMeccanica Chief Revenue Officer Kim Brink said the decision to relocate the company’s headquarters from British Columbia, Canada to Mesa was made earlier this month. Read more >>

This three-wheel vehicle to be built in Mesa can’t fit a family, but it can deliver pizzas

This three-wheeler could hardly be called a family car, but it’s sure to turn heads whenever it hits the road. The ElectraMeccanica Solo is a single-seat electric vehicle that’s billed as thrifty, fun and practical. They have been imported from China, though the ElectraMeccanica Vehicles Corp. (Nasdaq: SOLO) opened an assembly and technical center in Mesa with the goal of building the 2023 model in the U.S. Read more >>

Arizona EV battery maker expanding Tucson plant after years of development

An Arizona company developing a new kind of lithium battery for electric vehicles said that an expansion of its current Tucson manufacturing operation will add more than 150 jobs when it is finished in 2026. Sion Power Corp. says it is scaling up development of its proprietary Licerion hybrid lithium-metal unit, which it describes as an ultra-high energy next-generation lithium metal battery for electric vehicles, or EVs. The company said the battery uses special anode technology that is capable of delivering up to 500 watt hours per kilogram — an energy density measurement that is nearly double that of many standard batteries today. Read more >>

Southern Arizona voters overwhelmingly support copper mining in Arizona

A recent survey commissioned by the Tucson Metro Chamber, in partnership with the Arizona Mining Association, showed that more than 66% of Southern Arizona voters support copper mining in Arizona. The poll, conducted in late September, also indicated that when given a description of the project and its location, more than half of voters support (52.6% support, 37.7% oppose) Hudbay Minerals’ new proposed Copper World Project, located 28 miles south of Tucson. Read more >>

SRP approves new East Valley solar generating facility

The Salt River Project is set to begin work on the second phase of a solar installation that will be the nonprofit utility’s first utility-scale solar asset that it develops, owns and operates by itself. When complete, the solar generation facility at the Copper Crossing Energy and Research Center in Florence, southeast of Mesa, will be able to generate up to 55 megawatts of solar energy, which is enough to power about 12,000 homes. SRP will use an unspecified amount of federal incentive money made available through the Inflation Reduction Act for the project. Read more >>

Dimensional Energy plans hiring after sustainable fuel company opens Arizona facility

Dimensional Energy, a nascent company that uses a renewable energy process to make aviation fuel and related products, took the wraps off its new $2 million fuel production facility in Arizona at an unveiling on Dec. 6. The company, which produces its renewable hydrocarbon fuel from combining water and carbon dioxide, has opened its Dimensional Energy Tucson Technology Center on a 1.5-acre site at the UA Tech Park, operated by the University of Arizona. Headquartered in Ithica, New York, Dimensional Energy inked a purchase agreement in 2021 with Chicago-based United Airlines to buy 300 million gallons of the company’s sustainable aviation fuel. Read more >>

Education group launches solar technician course for Amazon employees

StrataTech Education Group, a long-time leader in training skilled professionals, launched a new solar technician course for Amazon’s hourly employees as part of Amazon’s Career Choice program. The 10-week solar technician course is offered at The Refrigeration School, Inc. (RSI) and teaches photovoltaic (PV) science and an introduction to the fundamentals of solar energy, with pre-paid tuition provided by Amazon. Read more >>

$1 billion battery manufacturing plant proposed for southern Arizona

Utah-based American Battery Factory is planning to build a $1.2 billion battery manufacturing plant in southern Arizona across 267 acres, according to Pima County documents and the startup. The new factory is expected to hire 1,000 employees at full build-out, with average annual salaries of $65,000, and have an estimated economic impact of $3.1 billion over a decade. American Battery Factory’s facility will be developed in three phases and located at Pima County’s Aerospace and Research Campus, south of Tucson International Airport between Interstates 10 and 19. Read more >>

Climate change could make rare heatwaves commonplace by 2050

During a nine-day heat wave in the Pacific Northwest in June 2021, temperatures rose a staggering 18 to 54 degrees above average. A new study in the journal Nature Climate Change describes the larger-scale forces at work — some of which could affect the Southwest. “This extreme heat wave is really supercharged outside of the historical experience in this region by these multiple different climatic and meteorological factors that ended up interacting with each other and amplifying the heat,” said lead author Samuel Bartusek, a third-year doctoral student at Columbia University. Read more >>

Regional clean hydrogen hub develops in the Desert Southwest

Energy leaders focused on developing low-carbon economies in Arizona, the Navajo Nation and Nevada have joined forces to develop a regional clean hydrogen hub in the Southwest. The Center for an Arizona Carbon-Neutral Economy (AzCaNE), housed within the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory and first introduced in May, is collaborating with partners in the aforementioned areas to launch the Southwest Clean Hydrogen Innovation Network, or “SHINe.” Read more >>

Nikola’s federal loan application for Valley hydrogen hub advances

Nikola Corp.’s application for potentially $1.3 billion in federal loan money to build a planned hydrogen production plant in the Valley is a step closer to being approved. The Phoenix-based zero-emissions vehicle maker said it submitted an application in May for a loan guarantee under the Innovative Clean Energy projects program with the U.S. Department of Energy Loan Program Office, and now the application has moved to the second part of the process. The money would be used to build Nikola’s hydrogen production hub on nearly 1,000 acres of land in Buckeye that the company quietly acquired for $16.5 million in September. Read more >>

KORE Power poised to break ground on Valley battery manufacturing plant by end of 2022

Idaho-based KORE Power announced today that it has secured funding needed to start construction on its planned 2 million-square-foot battery manufacturing plant by the end of this year. The company said on Wednesday that it has closed an initial $75 million tranche in financing that’s anticipated to eventually total $150 million. Siemens Financial Services was the lead investor, while Quanta Services, Nidec Motor Corp., Honeywell Ventures, Trog Hawley Capital and a utility scale energy storage provider also partnered in the private placement. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC was KORE’s agent. Read more >>

Capital raise of $75M is milestone for construction of KOREPlex, the lithium-ion battery gigafactory scheduled to break ground in Arizona Q4 2022

KORE Power, Inc. has closed the initial $75 million tranche of a private placement (the “Financing”) anticipated to total $150 million. Siemens Financial Services was the lead investor and was joined by Quanta Services with additional strategic partners including Nidec Motor Corporation, Honeywell Ventures, Trog Hawley Capital and a leading utility scale energy storage provider. Goldman Sachs & Co. LLC acted as KORE’s Exclusive Placement Agent. Read more >>

Phoenix-based e-bike brand offers viable urban transportation solution despite inflation and supply chain disruptions

With rising costs of living and rising energy costs present on a global scale, a single EV company – the fastest growing e-bike brand in the U.S. – defies the odds of imminent recession by presenting a viable urban transportation solution that addresses both crises. Lectric eBikes, founded in 2019 by Levi Conlow and his business partner Robby Deziel, has grown from a small Phoenix-based startup to a brand behind the country’s best-selling e-bike model and third best-selling electric vehicle with more than 250,000 models on the road. Read more >>


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