U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm to Visit Northern West Virginia

On May 26, 2023, Secretary Jennifer Granholm visited Weirton, WV, a historically important city in the steel manufacturing industry, to commemorate the groundbreaking of Form Energy’s first commercial-scale battery manufacturing facility – a project catalyzed by the Inflation Reduction Act that will enhance U.S. energy security and is estimated to bring 750 new jobs to the area.

Strengthening West Virginia’s Economy

In 2021, there were 72,750 energy jobs in West Virginia, representing over 10% of the jobs in the state. The number of energy jobs in the state grew by 12.3% from 2020 to 2021. The Inflation Reduction Act will expand these opportunities, improve U.S. energy security, and grow domestic supply chains by encouraging investments in hydrogen, carbon capture, energy manufacturing, critical minerals, and more between now and 2030.

Since the start of the Biden Administration, we have tracked more than $95 billion in new U.S. battery supply chain investments, including $780 million in West Virginia. WV facilities will produce 9.1 GWh of battery cells and add an estimated 1,400 jobs.

West Virginia is home to 111,614 small businesses, representing 98.8% of all businesses in the state, and the Inflation Reduction Act will help them save money. Commercial building owners can receive a tax credit up to $5 per square foot to support energy efficiency improvements that deliver lower utility bills.

Secretary Granholm attends groundbreaking in WV

U.S. Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm and West Virginia U.S. Senator Joe Manchin attend Form Energy groundbreaking — a site that will mass produce batteries for long-duration energy storage applications. 

Investing In West Virginia’s Communities

Thanks to funding from President Biden’s Investing in America Agenda the U.S. Department of Energy has made available more than $16.5 million dollars since 2022 to West Virginia’s state and local governments to invest in energy efficiency and grid resilience. West Virginia University has also received an $8 million grant for critical minerals research.

Through the Inflation Reduction Act, DOE recently provided the National Energy Technology Laboratory research site in Morgantown, West Virginia with $40 million. The funds will be used for: research to monitor the movement of carbon dioxide stored underground for carbon capture; modernization of lab facilities; and formulation of stronger metal alloys for energy sources, such as for hydrogen.

Saving West Virginians Money on Home Energy Bills

Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, West Virginia will receive over $88 million to implement a Home Energy Rebate program. Low-income households in Brooke and Hancock counties could save an average of 59% on home energy bills when they upgrade their appliances and improve energy efficiency through this program.

DOE’s Weatherization Assistance Program and State Energy Program have invested more than $32 million in West Virginia since 2015, leading to 365 jobs and over 4,000 homes with reduced energy costs and improved health and safety.

Prioritizing West Virginia’s Rural and Underserved Communities

The Interagency Working Group on Coal and Power Plant Communities identified five priority energy communities in West Virginia. Northern West Virginia is one of these priority communities. This means that the federal government, including the DOE and 11 other partner agencies, are prioritizing this area for near-term investment and engagement to support community revitalization.

The Biden Administration has committed to advancing equity for all communities, including through the Justice40 Initiative, which aims to ensure Federal agencies deliver at least 40% of the overall benefits of climate, energy, clean water, and other investments to disadvantaged communities. DOE has more than 140 programs covered by this initiative.

In Mingo and Logan Counties, West Virginians have partnered with DOE’s Communities LEAP program to invest in carbon capture and critical minerals recovery.

West Virginia has two Community Networks part of the Rural Partners Network, encompassing 448,150 residents in central and southern WV. Supported by USDA, DOE, and other federal agencies, the team focuses on projects prioritized by local communities that unlock the full potential of the region.

For current DOE funding opportunities, visit: www.energy.gov/infrastructure.