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The construction of a new battery manufacturing facility in Weirton, known as Form Factory One, has reached its first major milestone. The facility, being built by Form Energy, is set to be its first full-scale manufacturing plant and is expected to open in 2024. In a ceremony attended by officials from Form Energy, the City of Weirton, the Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle, and the Frontier Group of Companies, the first steel beams were raised on site after 56 days of breaking ground on the project.

Ted Wiley, the President and Chief Operating Officer of Form Energy, expressed excitement about the progress. He observed the installation of five support beams and a section of roof framing on a portion of the 55-acre site. The construction process involved digging 700 micro-piles, each measuring five feet wide and going 120 feet into the ground. Around 300 micro-piles have been completed, allowing major construction activities to commence.

Wiley emphasized the collaborative approach taken by the construction crews, who worked concurrently on design and construction with workers from different companies. The goal is to ensure that everyone involved sees themselves as part of the same team, with the aim of completing Form Factory One and making it operational. Wiley mentioned that the final steel framing is expected to be completed by November and enclosed by the end of the year. Substantial completion of the structure is anticipated in early 2024, with factory operations planned to commence in mid to late 2024.

Form Energy has already received orders for its iron-air battery, which is designed to store 100 hours of energy. The company has been in discussions with utilities across the country, and earlier this month, regulators in Minnesota approved a 10-megawatt/1,000-megawatt-hour system to be built by Form Energy for Northern States Power. Georgia Power also ordered its own system in June. Form Energy plans to create 750 jobs with the factory located on the site formerly occupied by the open hearth operations of Weirton Steel Corp. The project represents an investment of approximately $760 million, with funding from Form Energy and the State of West Virginia.

The construction of Form Factory One is progressing according to schedule, and the facility is expected to play a significant role in advancing battery technology and meeting energy storage needs.