German lithium battery storage firm Tesvolt is expanding manufacturing operations in Germany as it races to claim pole position for opening Europe’s first gigafactory.
Tesvolt did not announce a date for completing production lines at its new Lutherstadt Wittenberg facility, but said the plant will have an eventual annual production capacity of more than 1GWh and an initial 12,000m2 of floor space will be available next month— when production at an existing adjacent facility will switch to the new plant.
A total area of 20,000m2 will be available by the final phase and the estimated number of employees will eventually increase from the current 60 to between 100 and 120.
Tesvolt said the project represented a “multi-million-euro investment without any outside funding”. However, the company is accepting financing from the EU to cover around 10% of costs for the new semi-automated production line.
Tesvolt said the facility producing prismatic lithium battery cells, which are based on nickel manganese cobalt oxide and supplied by South Korea’s Samsung SDI, will be “fully carbon neutral”.
Solar power with a 200kWp power output will supply the electricity needed for the offices and storage system production, the company said. Any excess electrical energy will be stored in the factory’s own Tesvolt batteries, which will have a capacity of 350kWh.
Tesvolt said an “innovative high-temperature heating pump technology, reliant exclusively on a natural refrigerant” would ensure the facility’s heating system also runs on solar power.
The race to build major battery production facilities in Europe, in support of the EU’s Battery Alliance and to supply the booming electric vehicle and energy storage markets, is increasingly crowded. Firm construction plans have already been announced by several companies and consortia including Sweden’s Northvolt, Swiss battery metals investor Blackstone Resources, Germany’s BMZ and a German government-backed grouping of battery players.