The Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast released its 49th episode, titled “What's in Store(age) for North Carolina,” spotlighting North Carolina’s unique opportunity to support the onshoring of lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle manufacturing. In recent years, energy storage technology has become significantly cheaper, making it a viable accompaniment to popular renewable options, like wind and solar energy. While energy storage options range from mechanical to thermal, lithium-ion batteries have become the most widespread and affordable energy storage solution. In order to learn more about energy storage, check out the North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association’s (NCSEA) dedicated page on North Carolina’s energy storage news.  

In this series of episodes, the podcast will explore the different stages and technologies required for making energy storage technology more sustainable, affordable, and efficient. Today’s episode focuses on the first stage of lithium-ion battery manufacturing—extraction and refinement.  

Host Matt Abele spoke with Brian Risinger, Piedmont Lithium’s Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations, about the company’s plans to capitalize on the lithium-rich fields of western North Carolina and support domestic electric vehicle and battery manufacturers.  

Currently, over 80 percent of the world’s lithium hydroxide is produced in China, leading to high transportation costs for domestic manufacturers. Piedmont Lithium, a proud business member of NCSEA, is positioned uniquely to deliver high-quality lithium hydroxide for US-based automotive and electricity industries.  

The company holds 1199 acres of the Carolina Tin Spodumene Belt in Gaston County, North Carolina where they plan to convert the mined spodumene concentrate into 22,700 tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide per year. Recently, Piedmont Lithium received some research where the actual mineral resource supply within their allocated property is 40% greater than their initial estimates, increasing the potential for even greater lithium hydroxide production.  

After they complete the construction of quarries and necessary refinement plants, Risinger estimates that the actual production of lithium hydroxide will begin around the end of 2023. NCSEA looks forward to watching Piedmont Lithium’s progress over the coming years and believes their projects will create high-quality renewable energy jobs in North Carolina. To learn more about Piedmont Lithium’s project, check out its page on the importance of lithium for decarbonization and North Carolina’s unique geography.  

The Squeaky Clean Energy Podcast brings the latest in North Carolina clean energy policies and news. To make sure you’re notified when new episodes are released, please subscribe to the podcast on Apple PodcastsSpotify, or SoundCloud. Feel free to leave us a review or comment on any platform! 

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