Ohio electric utilities company FirstEnergy is currently in the process of setting up a new transmission substation in Trumbull County that will provide electric service to the Ultium Cells LLC plant in nearby Lordstown.
The Ultium Cells LLC plant, which is currently under construction, will span more than 3 million square feet when finished and will be the main production site for the lithium-ion battery cells that will be used in General Motors’ proprietary Ultium vehicle batteries. Ultium Cells LLC is a joint venture between GM and Korean battery manufacturer LG Chem.
In addition to providing power to the large Ultium Cells LLC plant, FirstEnergy says the new transmission infrastructure will “strengthen the regional transmission system and benefit more than 15,000 Ohio Edison customers in Lordstown and neighboring communities,” giving them a more robust energy grid to rely on.
FirstEnergy will also construct another new high-voltage line in Lordstown in April to further accommodate Ultium Cells’ projected future energy needs and provide more reliability enhancements for its local residential and commercial customers.
“With the EV industry bringing new employment and business development opportunities to the Mahoning Valley, FirstEnergy and Ohio Edison are keeping pace by upgrading our system to meet the growing demand for safe and reliable power,” said Ed Shuttleworth, the regional president for Ohio Edison and Penn Power. “This is an exciting time for EV development in our region and the entire country, and we’re proud to support work to help advance this industry while strengthening our system for customers in the area.”
The state of Ohio has become a hotspot for electric vehicle production in recent months. In addition to the Ultium Cells plant, Lordstown Motors is also preparing to start production of its Endurance fleet EV pickup at the former GM Lordstown Assembly plant later this year. Lordstown Motors has already received more than 100,000 non-binding pre-orders for the vehicle, which will enter production in September.
“FirstEnergy and Ohio Edison continue to play a key role in the region’s development by working to ensure the local power grid is ready to support the demands of other energy-intensive customers in the county including Lordstown Motors Corp,” the company said in a release.
The Ultium Cells LLC plant will create more than 1,100 jobs in the Northeast Ohio region once construction is complete. GM has not said when it expects the battery plant to be fully operational.