: Bill signed for West Virginia renewable energy battery plant

Mar 09, 2023 | Posted by MadalineDunn

West Virginia recently signed a bill for $105 million in state funding for a renewable energy battery plant in the former steel town, Weirton. In total the investment committed by the state is $290 million. This is a move that pushes the state to diversify its energy mix, in an area that has historically been dominated by coal.

According to reports, the 55-acre plant is the first full-scale plant for Massachusetts-based Form Energy. It is set to produce iron-air batteries, with the goal of creating demand for multiday energy storage for the U.S. power grid.

While this move would help address the shortcomings in lithium-ion batteries, ​​and go some way to tackling the energy crisis in the area, coal proponents, despite climate experts warning that the world must shift away from non-renewables, rally behind coal expansion, and oppose diversifying the energy mix in such a way. 

Gov. Jim Justice, when signing the bill, said that the plant would “transform" the community in "every positive way you can imagine.” Adding: “Today we need more diversification,” Justice said. "It's our job to embrace. It's our job to move forward.”

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