Sunlight Batteries USA, a maker of lithium-ion and lead-acid batteries, is expanding to the town of Mebane with a commitment to create 133 jobs and invest $40 million in a new 134,000 square-foot facility.
On Wednesday, the North Carolina Economic Investment Committee awarded Sunlight a job development investment grant, or JDIG, worth up to $1.2 million over the next dozen years. The incentives, to be realized through payroll tax rebates, are contingent on Sunlight hitting annual job creation and investment targets.
Sunlight must invest $40 million by the end of next year and has until the end of 2026 to generate the jobs. The average salary for these positions is anticipated to be $67,589. The average salary in the county is $46,999, according to a news release from Gov. Roy Cooper’s office.
Sunlight Batteries is a subsidiary of the Sunlight Group, which is headquartered in Athens, Greece. The company already has an operating battery facility in Greensboro and looks to use the Mebane plant to assemble lithium-ion batteries.
What it means to Mebane
Cooper heralded the news as another win for the state’s green energy sector.
“Demand is growing for clean energy components like batteries, and North Carolina is at the forefront of this industry of the future,” Cooper said in a press release. “Companies like Sunlight Batteries are bringing new jobs and new investment to Alamance County, thanks to North Carolina’s commitment to clean energy and innovation.”
Most electric vehicles use lithium-ion batteries, and in the past year, North Carolina has used JDIG incentives to lure several other alternative energy projects to the state, including a multi-billion-dollar Toyota electric car battery plant in Randolph County.
Mebane, located about 20 miles northwest of Durham, has become a popular community for those who work in the Triangle and the Triad.
But local officials like Mebane Council Member Katie Burkholder said landing the battery plant shows the growing town can both support its own industries while also serving as a commuter community for the nearby cities.
“We are very fortunate in our geographical location between the Triangle and the Triad,” Burkholder said. “And we’re also so excited to see more job opportunities coming in locally.”
This story was produced with financial support from a coalition of partners led by Innovate Raleigh as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The N&O maintains full editorial control of the work.
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This story was originally published September 7, 2022 2:30 PM.
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