Kempower Inc., a manufacturer of charging stations for electric vehicles, will create more than 300 jobs as it locates a new facility in Durham County, Governor Roy Cooper announced (February 7).
The company is planning to invest $41 million into the project, demonstrating again the growing momentum of North Carolina’s clean energy economy.
“North Carolina’s global reputation as a clean energy manufacturing powerhouse continues to grow,” said Governor Cooper. “Electric vehicle charging stations are a key component of our transportation infrastructure and we welcome these high-wage clean energy jobs that Kempower brings to our state.”
Kempower Corporation, a leading DC charging technology provider headquartered in Finland, manufactures, and distributes a wide variety of electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, serving the markets for public charging stations as well as large electric vehicle fleets and original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).
Kempower has grown rapidly in Northern Europe, where EV drivers appreciate the company’s charging solutions’ reliability, quality, user friendliness and safety. With the new facilities in North Carolina, Kempower will start to produce NEVI compliant DC fast-charging units in 2023 and gain the ability to directly supply its customers in the United States.
Established by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the National Electric Vehicle Infrastructure (NEVI) Program provides $109 million to North Carolina to create a network of fast-charging electric vehicle charging stations along designated major highways and in communities. The N.C. DOT’s NEVI plan would ensure that there are least four DC-Fast Chargers at least every 50 miles on major highways.
“We think North Carolina is a perfect location for us and fulfills our high ESG requirements. I would like to thank the State of North Carolina for the fantastic support during the thorough evaluation process,” said Kempower’s CEO Tomi Ristimäki. “Kempower is committed to make EV charging reliability a top priority. In the U.S., driving long distances is more common than in Europe, making the reliability of chargers an even more pressing issue. By having a tried and tested system in place to ensure the reliability of our chargers, we have the confidence that our chargers are fit to serve the continent’s EV drivers.”
“North Carolina’s manufacturing workforce continues to deliver a competitive edge to companies like Kempower,” said North Carolina Commerce Secretary Machelle Baker Sanders. “We never take for granted the importance of a strong, well-trained workforce. As our First in Talent strategic plan makes clear, we’ll continue to invest in our people and the educational systems that create opportunities for everyone.”
Although wages will vary depending on the position, the average salary for the new positions will grow to $88,440 in the project’s third year. The current average wage in Durham County is $86,686.
Kempower’s project in North Carolina will be facilitated, in part, by a Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG). Over the course of the 12-year term of this grant, the project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by $726.25 million.
Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by 306 new jobs, and in consideration of a capital investment of $41.2 million, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $3,010,500, spread over 12 years.
The company’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving just over $1 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account, the fund that supports rural communities and helps finance infrastructure projects in those other communities.
Partnering with the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina on this project were the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, North Carolina State University, the North Carolina Clean Enegy Technology Center, Raleigh-Durham International Airport, Durham Technical Community College, the Durham Workforce Development Board, Capital Area Workforce Development, Durham County, and the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce.