Major Energy Deal Sparked at 2017 Sun Valley Forum on Resilience
Governor Matt Bevin and EnerBlu announce over $400 million investment in Kentucky
KETCHUM, ID, December 20, 2017—The Sun Valley Institute’s annual Sun Valley Forum on Resilience this past July sparked a partnership that resulted in announcement of a major investment and much needed job creation in new energy solutions. On Friday, December 15, Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin joined EnerBlu, Congressman Hal Rogers (KY-05), Pikeville Mayor James Carter and other dignitaries in Pikeville, Kentucky to announce an over $400 million investment to build a Lithium Titanate battery manufacturing facility in Pikeville and relocation of their corporate headquarters to Lexington. The over one million square foot facility in Pikeville will create 875 jobs in an area historically known as “America’s Energy Capital” and hit hard by declining employment opportunities in the coal industry.
The 2017 Sun Valley Forum on Resilience’s theme was Resilient Prosperity: the Power of Nature, Technology & Community in a Changing World. At this year’s forum EnerBlu constructed a fully functioning standalone solar storage microgrid at the adjacent Forest Service Park. Forum speaker, Jonathan Webb, Founder and CEO of AppHarvest, was impressed and approached EnerBlu about joining him in Pikeville where he is locating his business’ commercial production and initiated an introductory call between EnerBlu and Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin.
“This deal accelerates the development and deployment of new energy technologies that strengthen resilience, benefiting the environment, security and economy. The annual Sun Valley Forum attracts leaders from around the world who are looking to share strategies, find partners, and build resilient prosperity. This is our most successful match to date, and we look forward to future forums facilitating more impactful relationships.” said Aimée Christensen, founder of the Sun Valley Institute and the Sun Valley Forum.
“The road to our announcement last week began when Governor Bevin reached out to me during the 2017 Sun Valley Forum to personally invite us to Kentucky to learn more. What we found was the right workforce match for our advanced manufacturing needs, local city leadership, strong local universities and training partners, and State leadership. Six months later, it was clear we were moving our headquarters and building our operations in the Bluegrass State,” said Daniel Elliott, CEO of EnerBlu.
“We are excited that EnerBlu has chosen Kentucky as home for its headquarters, research and development facility, and for the first Lithium Titanate battery facility in the United States,” Governor Bevin said. “EnerBlu will help power our nation’s transportation and defense industries, while providing job opportunities that will harness the highly skilled workforce of Eastern Kentucky. We are grateful to EnerBlu for locating this incredible project in our state, and congratulate the communities of Pikeville and Lexington for the opportunities this new corporate partnership will create. This project will have a positive impact on Eastern Kentucky and the commonwealth as a whole for many years to come.”
“The Forum was first convened in 2015 to accelerate the transformation of communities, towns and cities to more sustainable, equitable, secure, and resilient places to live and work.” Christensen added in her remarks at the announcement, “Energy is central to this transition and globally is quickly moving to a more decentralized system, tapping into local resources and electric transportation. With this deal, Kentucky has made it clear that they want to lead the nation in supplying innovative energy solutions by bringing together leadership at the state and local level with private capital and other strategic partners, such as the local utility.”
Michael Weber, EnerBlu’s Chairman stated, “The quality of the people at the Forum and their intimate level of understanding of the challenges ahead of us made the forum the ideal place to test game changing ideas, and bring our transformational power generation systems and innovative clean vehicles. Our deal with Kentucky is transforming our viable energy solutions into reality and helping us impact communities in the United States and countries around the globe that are in the process of building their infrastructure. We were thrilled by the reception we received at this years forum and cannot wait until next year.”
The 2018 Sun Valley Forum on Resilience will take place July 30 – August 1 at Ketchum’s Limelight Hotel, followed again by a day of adventure on August 2 to enjoy the local beauty and recreation opportunities. Each year the Sun Valley Forum gathers approximately 250 national and international leaders and innovators from investment, policy, business, nonprofits, sports, entertainment and academia, as well as local leaders, visitors, and residents with a goal of building greater understanding about resilience opportunities and accelerating the implementation of resilience solutions. For more information, see: www.sunvalleyforum.com.
For more information on EnerBlu, see: www.enerblu.energy.
The Sun Valley Institute advances resilience through policy leadership, public engagement and investments to ensure economic prosperity, environmental protection and human wellbeing in its home community of Idaho’s Wood River Valley and beyond. Sun Valley leaders founded the Institute in the spring of 2015 to protect and enhance local quality of place for future generations of residents and visitors alike, and to serve as a resource for communities everywhere. From the original Native American inhabitants to the miners and ranchers of the valley’s early days, from the Union Pacific engineers who built the world’s first chairlift to those who challenge themselves in its mountains and rivers today, Sun Valley is about history and tradition, grit and perseverance, well-being and quality of life. The risks, assets and values of Sun Valley make it the perfect home for an institute dedicated to resilience. For more information, please visit: www.sunvalleyinstitute.org and follow the institute on Twitter @SunValleyInst and Facebook at facebook.com/sunvalleyinstitute.