Capito touring Form Energy during Weirton stop | News, Sports, Jobs

Capito touring Form Energy during Weirton stop | News, Sports, Jobs
Capito touring Form Energy during Weirton stop | News, Sports, Jobs

NEARLY COMPLETED – The majority of construction is complete for the first phase of Form Factory 1 in Weirton. Form Energy plans to ramp up production at the battery manufacturing facility within the next few months. — Craig Howell

WEIRTON — U.S. Senator Shelley Moore Capito is dismayed by the changes seen in North Weirton in recent years

Capito, R.W. Va., was in town Monday to visit Form Factory 1, where he got a tour and an update on the development of the facility, which was built to produce iron-air batteries on land once used for steelmaking. It was part of a series of stops in the Northern Panhandle.

“What a great investment,” she said of the facility, which has been under construction for the past year. “It’s such an uplifting feeling.”

During the tour, Capito had the opportunity to learn about the engineering, testing and assembly of the batteries developed by Form Energy, which are designed to store 100 hours of energy. He also gained insight into the quality control procedures.

According to Mateo Jaramillo, CEO and co-founder of Form Energy, much of the primary construction of the first phase of Form Factory 1 has been completed and “dress rehearsals” are still underway as the company has begun bringing manufacturing personnel onto the site to begin the early phase of building the battery components.

SPECIAL VISIT – U.S. Sen. Shelley Moore Capito, R-Va., toured Form Factory 1 in Weirton on Monday. The senator, third from left, was accompanied by Form CEO Mateo Jaramillo, state Sen. Ryan Weld, R-Brooke, and Form President and COO Ted Wiley. — Craig Howell

“It is now reaching the stage of maturity,” he said, adding that production will be ramped up for the rest of the year.

The company previously announced plans to begin an expansion of Form Factory 1 sometime in 2025, which will increase production and create the need for more jobs. Form Energy’s stated goal is to have approximately 750 employees in Weirton.

Jaramillo expressed his appreciation to Capito, as well as to state and local officials and the residents of Weirton. He said the assistance over the past year has helped get Form Factory 1 up and running.

“We couldn’t do this without the support of the community,” Jaramillo said.

Even during construction, Form Energy is already receiving orders for batteries from companies and utilities across the country.

“The product sells itself in a lot of ways,” Capito said. “It’s going to be really interesting to see.”

Of particular interest were the multiple facets of manufacturing at Form Energy, which she said uses more aspects of robotics and artificial intelligence than what area residents are used to. She said the work being done by Form Energy can serve as a model for other existing and future manufacturers in the state and beyond.

“By embracing the new technological capabilities made possible by Form Energy, West Virginia will continue to be an energy state for the future,” Capito said.

In addition to her visit to Weirton, Capito also visited Wheeling, where she met with representatives of the Regional Economic Development Partnership, and Wellsburg, where a discussion took place about the use of the Congressional-sponsored spending funds recently announced for the community.

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