Ford Motor Company recently announced that it will be locating an electric vehicle (EV) and battery manufacturing plant in West Tennessee at a site certified through the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) in Haywood County, Tenn.
This is a $5.6 billion investment -- the largest in the state’s history -- and will create nearly 6,000 jobs in the area. “TVA is proud to partner with the state of Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development and others to bring these jobs to Tennessee,” TVA said.
“Reliable, low-cost, clean energy attracts world-class companies like Ford to the Tennessee Valley,” said TVA CEO Jeff Lyash in a statement. “Bringing jobs and capital investment to this region is what we do at TVA -- it’s a fundamental part of our mission -- and by helping to bring companies like Ford to this region, we are creating the jobs of the future.”
In an episode of the American Public Power Association’s Public Power Now podcast earlier this year, Lyash discussed TVA’s economic development activities.
TVA said that Ford set high standards in its search for a location for the new production facility and was looking for an energy provider committed to supplying low-cost, low-carbon energy from a reliable, resilient power system. “Tennessee checked those boxes because of TVA, which has one of the nation’s largest, most diverse, and cleanest generation portfolios,” TVA said.
TVA noted that it has been working with the state and others on this effort for more than year to ensure the site is suitable and to show that reliable, clean and low-cost TVA energy will support plant operations.
“TVA Economic Development works to attract new jobs and investment to the Valley, engages with existing industries, and serves with its partners to help foster economic growth,” said Ashton Davies, a spokesperson for TVA.
“To that end, the Economic Development team partners with state, regional and local economic development partners to facilitate site-selection services for companies looking to locate or expand in the seven-state Valley region,” she said.
TVA worked with Ford to provide solutions to meet the company’s sustainability and project needs, Davies said, adding that TVA’s carbon strategy goals align with Ford’s and in partnership with TVA’s local power companies, “we are able to deliver reliable low-cost, sustainable energy.”
TVA has already helped to attract more than $8.2 billion to the Tennessee Valley region for EV and battery manufacturing, which has helped create almost 4,600 EV-related jobs.
TVA is also partnering with the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, local power companies and third parties to begin building a fast-charging network across Tennessee and it has partnered with other utilities to be a founding member of the National Electric Highway Coalition.
In August, TVA announced a plan to convert its entire fleet of passenger cars and at least half of its own pickup and light cargo trucks to EVs by 2030.