BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (Sept. 14, 2023) – Today, Gov. Andy Beshear joined local officials and executives from AESC to help place the last piece of structural steel at its 1.6 million-square-foot, $2 billion gigafactory in Bowling Green’s Kentucky Transpark. The state-of-the-art 30-gigawatt hour plant will create 2,000 new, skilled jobs in the region, producing battery cells and modules to power next-generation electric vehicles (EVs) for multiple global automotive manufacturers.
“Today we celebrated another step forward for AESC in Bowling Green – the second largest economic investment in Kentucky’s history, set to create 2,000 full-time jobs,” said Gov. Beshear. “Our commonwealth is now a national leader in electric vehicle battery production, and AESC has been central to that success. I am grateful to this company’s leadership for betting on Kentucky and for bringing this transformational project to Warren County.”
AESC’s Bowling Green operation is the second largest economic development project in state history and further establishes Kentucky as a leader in the EV sector. The company will produce new generation battery cells that provide 30% more energy density than the current generation, leading to reduced charging time and increased range and efficiency for EVs. The Bowling Green operation is expected to power up to 300,000 vehicles annually by 2027.
AESC’s Bowling Green factory is on track for an early 2025 opening. AESC will implement high-tech capabilities to increase the cost-competitiveness and technological sophistication of EV batteries produced here, which will make EVs more accessible and affordable for American motorists. The gigafactory will be powered by 100% renewable energy, supplied by onsite generation and purchased locally from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).
“AESC is honored to celebrate with the Bowling Green community and the entire state of Kentucky as we complete the construction of our new state-of-the-art gigafactory,” said AESC U.S. Managing Director Jeff Deaton. “We could not have reached this tremendous achievement without our partnerships with state and local leaders and the talented teams across the region. We are confident that this gigafactory will not only strengthen local economies by creating thousands of new competitive clean energy jobs but also advance Kentucky’s position at the forefront of the fast-growing and global EV industry. AESC’s new gigafactory enhances our globally diversified structure and production footprint around the world. It represents an important achievement in our strategy to strengthen our footprint in the U.S. as we drive innovation and supply chain development of battery production to make electric vehicles more affordable and accessible for the growing U.S. market. By uniting Warren County’s talented leadership and strong local communities with our advanced technology, we are creating the next generation of battery solutions to meet the increasing demand for more energy-efficient electric vehicles across the globe. We look forward to our continued collaboration as we work closely to unlock the vast potential of this exciting project together.”
Incorporated and headquartered in Japan, AESC is a global leader in the development and manufacturing of high-performance batteries for EVs and energy storage systems. The company’s leading-edge technology and reliability are enabling and accelerating the transition to clean energy solutions. Through rapid expansion, AESC batteries will soon power more than 1 million EVs for the world’s top automakers.
Warren County Judge/Executive Doug Gorman highlighted the company’s large investment: “It is a monumental day for AESC and for our region, and this is the largest investment announcement our community has ever seen. Seeing the facility come to life is incredible. The economic impact of this project will generate $20 billion over the next decade, and at full employment, will generate over $233 million in new spending in the community annually.”
Bowling Green Mayor Todd Alcott is excited about the progress being made at the Transpark: “We are thrilled that AESC chose Bowling Green as their home and are so excited to see the progress toward being online. This facility will create amazing opportunities for 2,000 of our residents, and we can’t wait to celebrate the opening with them.”
Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Ron Bunch praised the project: “We are ecstatic about AESC’s progress on their state-of-the-art facility and are honored to be celebrating this milestone today alongside the community leaders whose collaboration made this possible.”
Tennessee Valley Authority Senior Vice President of Economic Development John Bradley congratulated AESC on this milestone: “Congratulations to AESC on this milestone. TVA, Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation, the Bowling Green Area Chamber of Commerce and the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development are proud to help support companies that are driving innovation and electrifying change in the region. We look forward to the continued success of AESC and celebrate this occasion together.”
AESC’s investment and planned job creation furthers recent economic momentum in the commonwealth.
Last month, Gov. Beshear reported that General Fund receipts for July 2023 totaled $1.1 billion, marking the 11th straight month with revenues over $1 billion. The Governor also recently announced that his administration secured the largest General Fund budget surplus and Rainy Day Fund.
The General Fund budget surplus at the end of fiscal year 2023 was more than $1.55 billion. Nearly all of the $1.55 billion surplus will go into the commonwealth’s Rainy Day Fund, bringing the fund to a record balance of $3.7 billion – a 2,700% increase since Gov. Beshear took office in 2019.
This year, the Governor announced that Kentucky set the record for the longest period with the lowest unemployment rates in state history.
Since the beginning of his administration, Gov. Beshear has announced more than 880 private-sector new-location and expansion projects totaling approximately $27 billion in announced investments. This is the highest investment figure for any governor in state history.
The robust job creation has been accompanied by rising wages across the commonwealth. The average incentivized hourly wage in 2022 was $26.78 before benefits, the second-highest mark since 2010 and an 11.5% increase over the previous year.
The Governor also secured the best two-year period in state history for economic growth and announced the two largest economic development projects in state history. In addition to the AESC project, in September 2021, Gov. Beshear and leaders from Ford Motor Co. and SK On celebrated a transformative $5.8 billion investment that will create 5,000 jobs in Hardin County. These announcements solidify Kentucky as the EV battery production capital of the United States.
That position was strengthened even further in May 2023, when the Governor and leaders at Toyota announced a $591 million investment across multiple projects as the company’s largest manufacturing operation in Georgetown introduced its first battery electric vehicle. Growth within the EV sector continued into June as Gov. Beshear joined INFAC North America to break ground on the company’s $53 million investment to support EV-related production in Campbellsville.
Over a two-month period this year, Kentucky secured two credit rating increases from major agencies. On May 12, Gov. Beshear announced that his administration obtained the first state-level credit rating upgrade in 13 years and the first-ever upgrade from Fitch Ratings. On June 29, Gov. Beshear announced the commonwealth received its first-ever rating increase from S&P Global Ratings.
Site Selection magazine recently placed Kentucky first in the South Central region and top-5 nationally in its 2023 Prosperity Cup ranking, which recognizes state-level economic development agencies for their success in landing capital investment projects. The publication also placed Kentucky second nationwide and first in the South Central region for its annual Governor’s Cup ranking for 2022, which recognizes state-level economic success based on capital investments.
Gov. Beshear recently announced a new “Supply Kentucky” initiative with the goal of boosting job growth, reducing costs and providing more security in the supply chains of our Kentucky companies.
For more information on AESC, visit US.AESC-Group.com.
A detailed community profile for Warren County can be viewed here.
Information on Kentucky’s economic development efforts and programs is available at CED.ky.gov. Fans of the Cabinet for Economic Development can also join the discussion at facebook.com/CEDkygov, on Twitter @CEDkygov, Instagram @CEDkygov and LinkedIn.