ALBANY, Ore. (KMTR) -- Ribbon cutting on Monday for a new era of jobs in Albany, as a battery technology company called “EnerG2” (Energy Two) has opened its doors for business which could not only mean big things for Albany in the future, but could also put Oregon on the map as a worldwide hub for new battery manufacturing.
EnerG2 representatives cut the ribbon on their new manufacturing facility in Albany Monday afternoon, February 13th, 2012. Just 18 months ago, the company began work on the facility, renovating it for manufacturing batteries.
The new manufacturing plant brings 35 new jobs to Albany.
However, it also brings a brand new industry to the city and the possibility of something huge for battery technology that's never been seen anywhere else in the world. According to EnerG2, the facility is the first in the world dedicated to commercial-scale production of engineered carbon material.
EnerG2 makes nano-engineered carbon for batteries. Carbon is one of the primary components of most batteries.
Nano-engineering carbon means manipulating the element in its molecular structure. By doing that, EnerG2 says it is making state of the art advancements in carbon, which it turn is used in batteries.
The carbon that EnerG2 generates for batteries can be tailored to specific technologies to that the batteries ultimately perform better.
The eight-year old company, which is based in Seattle, Washington, chose Albany as the site of its first manufacturing plant for numerous reasons. One of them is the neighboring engineers coming out of Oregon State University in Corvallis.
EnerG2 also chose Albany though for its freeze-drying companies, including its neighbor and business partner, “Oregon Freeze Dry.”
Speaking of Albany, EnerG2 Rick Luebee says, “It's also a center for excellence in material processing in general. So by coming to Albany, we're able to tap in to an incredible pool of human talent to help us get operation online.. and to help us recruit process operators to keep the plant running.”
EnerG2 is planning to quadruple in capacity at its Albany manufacturing plant in the next few years.
Locally, the company's manufacturing plant is located in the Oregon Freeze Dry building in Southwest Albany. Oregon Freeze Dry has also invested inEnerG2.
Another investor, the U.S. Department of Energy also helped fund the remodeling of EnerG2's Albany plant through a 21.3 million dollar grant as part of the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
The DOE believes that the implications of this technology not only means more U.S manufacturing jobs, but also cheaper batteries, leading to cheaper electric cars and a reduction of green house gasses down the line.