Momentum building for clean energy economy across North Carolina

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North Carolina Construction News staff writer

North Carolina announced 134 new businesses, expansion and rural development projects in 2023, with a total value of $12.9 billion of capital investment into the state and led by companies engaged in clean energy industries.

“North Carolina has seen historic economic growth and development in the last few years including our rural areas thanks to our great workforce and major investments from companies across the globe,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a statement. “North Carolina continues to be the best place to locate and grow a business and we’ll keep working to bring good-paying jobs to every corner of our state.”

Clean energy industries include those engaged in energy efficiency or producing products that reduce or eliminate harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The electric vehicle supply chain in particular is experiencing rapid market growth. Since 2017, the state has announced more than 17,500 clean energy sector jobs with projects bringing more than $22.1 billion of capital investment to North Carolina.

Top projects for 2023 include:

  • Toyota’s decision to expand its job creation and investment targets for its Randolph County electric vehicle battery manufacturing factory. The company will create an additional 3,000 jobs and invest an additional $8 billion in the project, bringing its totals to 5,100 new jobs with a capital investment of $13.9 billion.
  • Kempower’s decision to locate a manufacturing facility in Durham County to build charging stations for electric vehicles, investing $41 million and creating 601 jobs;
  • Epsilon Advanced Materials’ choice of Brunswick County for its first manufacturing site in the United States to produce synthetic graphite for use in batteries, creating 500 jobs with a $649.9 million investment;
  • Siemens Mobility’s selection of Davidson County for its East Coast facility to manufacture passenger rail cars, creating 500 jobs with a $220 million investment.

A majority of the year’s economic development projects located or expanded in the state’s more rural or economically distressed areas, with 78 percent of projects choosing either a Tier 1 or Tier 2 county, as delineated by North Carolina’s economic development tier system.

Significant projects in the state’s Tier 1 or Tier 2 counties include:

  • Siemens Mobility’s project in Davidson County
  • Dai Nippon Printing Company’s selection of Davidson County for a new biomanufacturing facility serving the EV battery market, creating 352 new jobs and bringing $233 million in capital investment to the Town of Linwood;
  • ProKidney’s choice of Guilford County for a new manufacturing facility and its selection of Forsyth County for an expansion of its corporate headquarters, together creating 380 jobs with a capital investment of $505.7 million;
  • Honda Aircraft’s decision to expand in Guilford County in order to build a larger version of its HondaJet, creating 280 jobs with $55.7 million in capital investment;
  • Energizer’s decision to expand its battery production facility in Randolph County, creating 178 jobs and investing $43 million in Asheboro.
  • Provalus’ selection of Columbus County for a 92-job project that will help the company better service the information technology needs of its Fortune 1000 client base;
  • UPS’s selection of Onslow County for a distribution facility to serve the southeast part of the state, creating 98 jobs and investing $12.3 million in the Town of Holly Ridge.

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