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Opinion: HB 2882 is a winner for economic development in West Virginia

By Mitch Carmichael

Secretary, West Virginia Department of Economic Development

This week, the West Virginia Legislature considers HB 2882, a bill that will bring 750 advanced manufacturing jobs to Weirton, WV, in Hancock County.

Mitch Carmichael

The West Virginia Department of Economic Development (WVDED) is proud to have crafted a unique incentive package to win this transaction for West Virginia and enable Form Energy to build a state-of-the-art, technologically advanced manufacturing facility creating 750 new, full-time jobs in our state.  

Throughout America, thousands of new jobs are being created in domestic energy manufacturing. With Form Energy, we have an opportunity to lead the country once again in energy production. This company, utilizing innovative, home-grown technology will reduce America’s reliance on unfriendly countries for vital materials in the battery production supply chain.

Form Energy’s technology uses iron ore, one of the most abundant materials in the world and will be produced in one of the world’s most iconic metal manufacturing cities, Weirton, WV.  

Form Energy is an American battery storage company that currently employs approximately 400 people. They are growing and expanding rapidly to meet the requirement to strengthen and harden the American electrical grid. Thankfully, this growth and all the corresponding spin-off jobs is happening right here in West Virginia. 

The WVDED won these jobs for West Virginia with a phased incentive package that perfectly protects our taxpayers. In fact, we insisted that West Virginia own all the land and buildings for this incredible project. The Form Energy incentives are 100% geared to performance.

Our deal is clear: if Form Energy doesn’t create 750 jobs, the company will not get a penny from West Virginia. Additionally, Form Energy will pay West Virginia a market-based lease rate on the facility. Finally, if Form Energy doesn’t meet their obligations and commitments, they are out, and West Virginia has all the collateral and security.

This is a landmark, winning transaction for West Virginia. We get an opportunity to welcome an innovative company with 750 advanced manufacturing jobs. Our state will produce and provide the manpower to strengthen our American electrical grid. And, we have protected the taxpayers of our state with full collateral and security.

Let’s all join in celebrating the victory that West Virginia has achieved in locating this amazing enterprise to our beautiful state and welcome Form Energy as the newest corporate citizen in West Virginia.

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