Redwood Materials breaks ground on new battery factory
Morgan Crapps, Director of Public Affairs at Redwood Materials, announced the news on LinkedIn. She said, “And we’re off! Redwood Materials has officially broken ground in South Carolina at our second Battery Materials Campus!” She added that this was “an exciting milestone as we move one step closer to closing the loop and creating a circular supply chain for battery materials here in North America.”
While this sounds rightly euphoric, the company is about one year late. Redwood initially announced the Battery Materials Campus in Camp Hall in Berkeley County in December 2022 and planned to start construction in early 2023, with recycling to begin about now.
This delay aside, other targets appear valid. The company is investing about 3.5 billion dollars into the new factory and will employ over 1,500 people to recycle anode and cathode components and process them into new battery materials.
Once completed, Redwood expects the new campus to produce 100 GWh of cathode and anode components per year and potentially expand to several hundred GWh per year.
The arguments for the locations naturally still stand as well. Redwood says it positioned the campus in “the heart of the battery belt” that runs from Michigan through Georgia to South Carolina.
After leaving Tesla in 2019, J.B. Straubel founded the battery business in Redwood City, California, and has another major site in Nevada – in the same industrial area as Tesla’s Gigafactory 1.
Camp Hall, on the other hand, is located at the southern end of the Battery Belt, where hundreds of GWh per year of battery cell production capacity is expected to come on stream by 2030. The location in Berkeley County offers the further advantage of easy access to the port of Charleston and rail connections.
The campus will process, among other things, materials supplied to Redwood from existing collaborations. Apart from Tesla, the company reportedly has deals with Ford, Volkswagen, Volvo, Panasonic and Toyota.
The operations in South Carolina are to be powered exclusively by renewable energies – Redwood announced that it will not even lay a gas pipeline to the site.