Forge Nano, Inc., a leading materials science company that enables peak performance products through atomic-level surface engineering, intends to launch a new lithium-ion battery business, called Forge Battery, in Wake County. The company and its investors plan for an initial investment of more than $165 million to build a lithium-ion battery manufacturing plant in Morrisville bringing hundreds of high-paying clean energy jobs to the state. Forge Battery expects the facility to be operational in 2026.
“North Carolina’s growing leadership in clean energy can be seen everywhere you look, and Forge Battery’s decision continues our momentum,” said Governor Cooper. “New jobs, new investment, and new opportunities for our people are coming fast as we embrace this vital new sector of the global economy.”
Based in Colorado, Forge Nano improves the performance of materials used in batteries by applying specialized, atomic-scale coatings using proprietary industrial manufacturing equipment. The technology, called Atomic Armor, offers manufacturers protective nano-coating that can increase the battery’s energy density, improve safety, and extend usable lifetime.
Forge Battery intends to build and operate a battery manufacturing facility in Morrisville with Gigawatt hour (GWh) capacity. Forge Battery plans to utilize Forge Nano’s proprietary Atomic Armor technology to produce high-performance lithium-ion batteries that meet or beat performance targets of industry standard lithium-ion technology. Atomic Armor also expects to improve production efficiency and drive down Forge Battery cell costs due to the removal of expensive material additives used in the traditional lithium-ion manufacturing process. Forge Battery will supply these batteries to a wide range of domestic and international clients.
“Lithium-ion cells utilizing Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor technology have exceeded our customer’s expectations, and in turn, increased demand for the technology that outstrips the current manufacturing capabilities,” says Paul Lichty, CEO of Forge Nano. “We are extremely excited to launch Forge Battery in North Carolina, where we intend to produce batteries for the world’s most demanding applications, while showcasing the power of Forge Nano’s Atomic Armor coating equipment in a large-scale manufacturing environment.”
“Innovation is the heartbeat of the clean energy revolution we’re seeing today,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “I’m pleased an innovative company like Forge Battery has seen and appreciated North Carolina’s many competitive advantages for battery manufacturers, and I know they’ll find both the engineers and operational workers here that will spell success for their company.”
The North Carolina Department of Commerce led the state’s support for the company during its site evaluation and decision-making process.
Although wages will vary depending on the position, the payroll impact for the project is expected to be more than $16 million each year.
Forge Battery’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $655 million. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by 204 new jobs and the company’s original capital investment target of $142 million, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $1,525,500, spread over 12 years. State payments only occur following performance verification by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets. JDIG projects result in positive net tax revenue to the state treasury, even after taking into consideration the grant’s reimbursement payments to a given company.
Because Forge Battery chose a site in Wake County, classified by the state’s economic tier system as Tier 3, the company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving $508,500 into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. Even when new jobs are created in a Tier 3 county such as Wake, the new tax revenue generated through JDIG grants helps other economically challenged communities elsewhere in the state.
“We welcome Forge Battery to Morrisville and Wake County,” said N.C. Senator Gale Adcock. “This innovative company becomes the latest building block in a growing clean industry cluster that’s quickly taking root in the State of North Carolina, and we couldn’t be more pleased.”
“North Carolina is the number one state for business in the country, and we’re fast becoming the leading center for battery research and production as well,” said N.C. Representative Ya Liu. “Many people in our community worked hard to bring these jobs to our region and we will continue to work together to support Forge Battery’s continued growth in our state.”
The Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina would like to recognize the North Carolina Department of Commerce as well as other key partners involved in this project, including the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, Duke Energy, North Carolina State University, the Wake County Board of Commissioners, Wake Tech Community College, the Capital Area Workforce Development Board, the City of Morrisville, and Wake County Economic Development, a program of the Raleigh Chamber.