Monday, June 24, 2024

An interview with the CEO of FREYR battery on their $3B US plant

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Listen in as Host Bill Nussey talks with Tom Jensen, CEO and Cofounder of the publicly traded Luxembourg and Norway-based FREYR Battery. FREYR is rising as a frontrunner in clear, high-density battery cell manufacturing. Jensen shares insights into the driving forces which have formed FREYR so far, the significance of upstream and downstream partnerships, and why the corporate is committing some $2.6 Billion to the power envisioned for Coweta County in Georgia. And, since FREYR’s Giga Arctic might be powered by 100% renewable power, you’ll want to know what the plans are for powering Giga Americas in Georgia. 

Here are a couple of of the insights from Bill and Tom’s dialogue…

“We have three core mantras in FREYR. It’s velocity, scale, and sustainability. And every part we do relies on that. If we are able to’t transfer quicker, if we are able to’t construct greater, and if we are able to’t do it sustainably, we simply don’t do it.”


“…I actually targeted on … let’s name them ‘industrial methods’… that may do one thing that issues. So I wish to search for scalable options. I wish to search for options that may be replicated quickly in lots of jurisdictions. …I wish to work on methods that … have an actual affect on not solely decreasing, not solely stopping the rise in CO2 emissions, however … reversing it.”


So the Inflation Reduction Act that was launched by the administration is the poster little one instance of speed up the power transition. It is basically forceful, it’s actually nice. And that’s why we’re accelerating our deployment within the US. We had been initially considering to form of transfer a bit of bit additional in Norway earlier than we replicated … our ambitions elsewhere. But with that incentive program that has been placed on the desk, and the curiosity not solely from prospects, however expertise suppliers, provide chain companions, regulators, and native and state officers, et cetera, is simply superb how the reception has been.


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Bill Nussey and Dr. Jemma Green during the recording of the podcast

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Transcript

Bill Nussey:

Well, whats up and it’s time for a brand new episode of the Freeing Energy Podcast. I’m Bill Nussey, the Founder and Co-host of the Freeing Energy Podcast. And as at all times, we’re so excited and honored to share with you, all of you in our group, the implausible and galvanizing tales of the people who find themselves making the clear power revolution, and in some ways, the native power revolution occur.

So loads of you which have recognized me for a few years know that I completely love batteries. In reality, on this podcast, many individuals have referred to me, considerably lovingly and typically not, as Battery Bill. And it’s true, should you’ve learn my ebook, you realize that I see power storage and significantly power storage utilizing batteries as a linchpin in making a profitable transition to wash power and in addition to the native renewable power future.

So, batteries coupled with photo voltaic are getting used to energy our properties, our workplaces and communities, and these methods are being utilized to help our public grid. But except for the power era and storage, there’s one other quickly rising space that calls for superior cost-efficient power storage within the type of batteries, and also you all know precisely what it’s. The primary driver of batteries which is electrical automobiles. And on condition that many elements of the world, the solar is setting on inner combustion engines, increasingly more focus is being positioned on making a globally distributed community of recent environment friendly battery manufacturing amenities to satisfy this fast, fast rising demand. So right this moment, China’s the chief in battery manufacturing, but when our visitor has something to say about it, that is going to alter.

So I’m excited right this moment to introduce you to Tom Jensen, the CEO and Co-founder of Luxembourg and Norway-based FREYR Battery. FREYR’s a New York Stock Exchange publicly traded firm and is utilizing subsequent era battery cell manufacturing expertise to place itself as a frontrunner in battery manufacturing. For instance, FREYR plans to develop over 40 gigawatt hours of battery cell capability by 2025 and to place itself as certainly one of Europe’s largest cell suppliers. And right this moment we’re going to speak to him in regards to the thrilling plans FREYR has to quickly be the chief within the United States, proper right here really in Freeing Energy Project’s yard in Georgia. So Tom, welcome to the Freeing Energy Podcast.

Tom Jensen:

Bill, thanks for having me. It’s a pleasure to be right here and I’m overly biased in terms of batteries and I sit up for speaking about it with you.

Bill Nussey:

Well, if it goes nicely, we’ll seek advice from you as Battery Tom after that is over too. You most likely already get that on daily basis. Right? So simply to set the stage, inform us the place you’re speaking with us from right this moment.

Tom Jensen:

So I’m calling you from Oslo, Norway, the power transition capital I assume, should you like. As lots of the listeners would possibly know, Norway is by far the main adopter of electrical automobiles on the planet. We began that journey, I might say, some 12, 13 years in the past. And right this moment, near 90% of all, 9 zero, not 19, however 9 zero % of all automobiles offered in Norway are electrical. You can’t go for 5 minutes or 5 seconds even in Oslo with out seeing a complete vary of various electrical automobiles. And the principle purpose for why that occurred was that the federal government put in place a really sturdy incentive scheme the place they mainly eliminated all of the taxes on electrical automobiles. And as you realize, Norway’s a excessive tax nation and we have now very vital taxes on combustion engine automobiles, so while you’re really eradicating that tax on a Tesla, it turns into on a relative foundation the identical as a Passat. And that, in fact, signifies that many center revenue individuals are really shopping for what in different areas is a luxurious model. So that’s a part of the explanation why they’ve been capable of do it.

So Norway has then taken the step by way of numerous initiatives and we’re the main one in Norway, biased as we’re, by way of establishing the total battery worth chain. So we had the pleasure of internet hosting the Norwegian authorities on our Giga Arctic website, which I’ll come again to in a bit of bit, the place they launched their nationwide battery technique, which was launched earlier this yr. So Norway is basically stepping as much as the plate, desirous to be a core supplier of not solely batteries, but additionally the availability chain going into batteries, R&D initiatives, downstream options, built-in form of decarbonization place should you like the place batteries is, as you level out, Bill, on the core of that power transition.

One factor is to take away the tailpipe of a automobile that clearly decarbonizes transportation, however should you’re producing these batteries with non-renewable power and should you’re charging these batteries with non-renewable power, you’re simply shifting the purpose of emission to a different location. And as everyone knows, the ambiance is one ambiance, it’s not a number of atmospheres. So should you launch CO2 in China since you are producing coal-based power and producing batteries there and/otherwise you’re charging your automobile in Germany primarily based on coal, it doesn’t actually help the power transition. Therefore, massive scale distributed power options within the type of rooftop photo voltaic, industrial and industrial photo voltaic, plus storage, plus utility grade power, once more supported by balancing capability by way of the form of storage and batteries, is basically necessary. So from our perspective, we’re going to goal each of these market [inaudible 00:06:41] with our manufacturing methods and I’m comfortable to be right here to speak about how we’re aimed to do this.

Bill Nussey:

Well good. We’re going to go in deep on it, however we at all times actually like to speak about our visitor first. So we’re going to simply ask, hit you with a few questions. We did a bit of background in your superb profession journey and was shocked, pleasantly shocked to see that you just’ve obtained a giant background in regenerative agriculture and reforestation and biofuels. So what sparked that preliminary curiosity in that aspect of sustainability and what led you to transition over to batteries?

Tom Jensen:

Well, so I’m an economist by coaching sadly. And I say that-

Bill Nussey:

Ooh, sorry. Yeah.

Tom Jensen:

Yeah. I say that a bit of bit intentionally as a result of I’ve discovered myself for the final 15 years of my life actually specializing in scaling disruptive expertise or disruptive enterprise fashions within the sustainability area. And previous to that I used to be in Norsk Hydro, an industrial big in Norway who beforehand really had three legs to face on. It was oil and fuel on the Norwegian continental shelf and I did loads of work within the oil and fuel area. It’s now right this moment a pure play aluminum firm, so I did loads of work within the aluminum area in Norsk Hydro, and I additionally did some work within the agricultural area, which was the third arm of Norsk Hydro.

But again in 2008, I made a decision to, as one of many founders of the agricultural firm I used to run, he known as me up in the future and mentioned it’s about time I do one thing helpful with my life. And I used to be form of figuring that I used to be doing fairly okay the place I used to be, however I needed to take the soar. In my mid 30s I made a decision to leap ship and mainly turn into an entrepreneur. And I began that journey within the regenerative agricultural area. I’ve at all times been preoccupied with sustainability. I’m a bit of little bit of a local weather nerd to be sincere.

Bill Nussey:

Ooh.

Tom Jensen:

I’m the form of man who screens the CO2 emission databases each day. I’m terrified with the tempo at which we’re rising the CO2 focus within the ambiance. I’m additionally equally terrified that the scientists is likely to be improper as a result of they have a tendency to underestimate the tempo of change in these massive, let’s say, world methods. And as well as, that is form of a consensus pushed to a big half form of trade or scientific group the place all of the IPCC studies, et cetera, usually are a perform of, let’s say consensus and subsequently the conclusions are typically primarily based on averaging out situations.

And as everyone knows, averaging out situations just isn’t the de facto state of affairs that may occur. So everytime you see studies that scientists are saying that the tempo of ice melting on Antarctica was form of six occasions larger than they beforehand assumed, that’s fairly disturbing. But what is basically disturbing to me is what in the event that they’re nonetheless six occasions improper and that this goes even quicker? Because as you realize, when a giant pile of ice from Antarctica drops out into the ocean, it’s not a gradual improve in sea ranges, proper? It’s going to go occur in a single day.

So anyway, in order that’s simply certainly one of these local weather tipping factors that I’m form of nerdy preoccupied with. And the explanation for me actually going all in on the sustainability entrance is there’s a lack of recognition in regards to the want for actually pressing change. And then I actually targeted on what are the, let’s name it industrial methods that may do one thing that issues? So I wish to search for scalable options. I wish to search for options that may be replicated quickly in lots of jurisdictions. I wish to work on methods that actually have an actual affect on not solely scale back and never solely stopping the rise in CO2 emissions, however decreasing it and reversing it. So that’s why I’ve been targeted on regenerative agriculture, built-in reforestation applications, and naturally, to a big extent, renewable power methods.

And when a former boss of mine from my earlier life within the oil and fuel and aluminum trade known as me up and mentioned that he had this concept of constructing gigafactories for clear battery options in Norway, it form of ticked off all of the containers for me as a result of it decarbonized the transportation and it will probably decarbonize power methods on the identical time. And Norway has a century-long expertise in producing renewable power and exporting renewable power and constructing massive scale initiatives within the power area. And Norway is punching above its weight by way of taking accountability for the power transition. And we wish to form of begin right here, construct our first gigafactory right here. We labeled it Giga Arctic fittingly as a result of it’s really on the Arctic Circle, after which we’re going to copy that manufacturing system additionally within the United States, as you identified initially, and probably over time in a number of jurisdictions, together with amenities upstream and downstream in order that we are able to actually create on a lifecycle foundation absolutely decarbonized methods.

Bill Nussey:

That’s a terrific imaginative and prescient and it’s superb the progress you guys are making. On behalf of America and reaching out to everybody in Norway, I’ve to ask you, what do you consider all these Will Ferrell commercials about hating Norway?

Tom Jensen:

Well, I believe it’s form of reverse psychology. I believe embedded in that’s he form of loves it, proper? So-

Bill Nussey:

Of course

Tom Jensen:

I imply loads of the immigrants to the US again within the nineteenth century and earlier had been Norwegians. So there’s loads of Norwegian heritage, I assume, round within the US. Norway is a small nation. I believe we’ve at all times been admiring the US and I’ve at all times been saying, by the way in which, as a consultant of FREYR, that when the US wakes as much as the power transition, we must be there.

Bill Nussey:

I prefer it.

Tom Jensen:

Because if something, the US at all times exhibits that when it decides to do one thing, issues transfer. It is the biggest market on the earth. It is by far essentially the most capital wealthy market on the earth. It has essentially the most mind energy. It has essentially the most area. It has essentially the most resolve, when lastly you resolve. So the Inflation Reduction Act that was launched by the administration is the poster little one instance of speed up the power transition. It is basically forceful, it’s actually nice, and that’s why we’re accelerating our deployment within the US. We had been initially considering to maneuver a bit of bit additional in Norway earlier than we replicated our ambitions elsewhere, however with that incentive program that has been placed on the desk and the curiosity not solely from prospects however expertise suppliers, provide chain companions, regulators, and native and state officers, et cetera, it’s simply superb how the reception has been and we’re able to preserve pushing the accelerator to actually construct clear battery options additionally within the US.

Sam Easterby:

The clear tech revolution is in full swing, particularly right here on the Freeing Energy Project’s house turf. FREYR is only one instance with its plans to spend 2.6 billion on its Giga America’s facility in Georgia between 2023 and 2029. Just inside the final month, one other large announcement was made right here in Georgia. Q CELLS, one of many world’s main clear power corporations introduced a $2.5 billion growth of its photo voltaic panel manufacturing amenities proper right here in Georgia. Between these two initiatives alone, that’s an funding of over $5 billion. What makes Georgia so enticing? Relatively low power price, the existence of an enormous logistics hub with rail and air, and an influential community of technical faculties with deep expertise swimming pools. Favorable proper to work legal guidelines and state and native authorities help are only a few of the elements that add as much as a profitable method for attracting clear tech corporations.

And if entrepreneurs and innovators tuning in to Bill’s dialogue with FREYR’s Tom Jensen hear intently, you’ll word that the FREYR workforce is relying on creating and increasing a neighborhood provide chain. This strategy is a component of what’s making FREYR’s Giga Arctic Project so profitable and might be key to the success of Giga America. In case you wish to learn extra about FREYR, we’ve included some useful hyperlinks within the present notes for this episode. And don’t overlook to love and subscribe to the Freeing Energy Podcast. Now, let’s get again to Bill and Tom to listen to extra.

Bill Nussey:

So Tom, earlier than we get there, I might love to grasp the origins of the identify FREYR, which I’m clearly announcing incorrectly, and it’s roots in Nordic mythology. What is the origin of this identify? And say it accurately so everybody right here in America can study to pronounce it correctly, beginning with me.

Tom Jensen:

Yeah, I imply we have now a saying in Norway {that a} good little one has many names, so you possibly can pronounce it in numerous methods. I name it FREYR. So it’s a really form of Norwegian and Nordic form of ring to it. Some say FREYR, which is form of linked [Norwegian 00:16:21] and [Norwegian 00:16:22], which is that this Nordic god. In previous Norse, it’s really extra the phrase lord really. And it’s a extensively attested god within the Norse mythology which is related to fertility, peace, prosperity, virility, sunshine, honest climate, and good harvest. So it’s obtained loads of, let’s name it positivity hooked up to it, giving delivery to renewable power, giving delivery to the power transition should you like, and form of spearheading momentum in it. So we like to make use of the Norse mythology and the form of Nordic, let’s say, heritage to actually drive every part we do by way of what our merchandise will appear like, how we are going to identify them, to get that Aurora Borealis really feel of what we’re doing and so forth and so forth.

Because on the finish of the day, folks want to be ok with these items, that it’s not solely about creating a price aggressive product, but it surely must have, in our opinion, it must transcend that. It must be one thing that individuals can relate to and affiliate with and so forth. So FREYR is an efficient start line for that and there’s going to be much more fascinating names on our merchandise and in any other case coming from FREYR within the subsequent couple of months. So, keep tuned for tons extra from Norse mythology, it’s going to be thrilling, 2023.

Bill Nussey:

That’s a terrific lead in. So let’s get a bit of bit nerdier in your Arctic Project. So you guys have engineered this to be essentially the most capital environment friendly battery plant in Europe with a 50% decrease estimated capital expenditures per gigawatt hour of capability in comparison with crops presently in operation and even below development. You guys count on this to be essentially the most operationally environment friendly battery plant producing anticipated 200% larger manufacturing per plant employed in comparison with the averages. I imply these aren’t 5% and 10% numbers you’re speaking about, these are staggering massive adjustments and could have a profound affect on price and availability. What do you do and how are you going to even strategy these form of positive aspects over an in any other case fairly sensible trade that’s obtained a few years forward of you?

Tom Jensen:

So Bill, in fact, simply to be honest, we haven’t constructed these amenities but. We are constructing them and we are going to put the primary, let’s name it gigawatt hour scale manufacturing line in operation in Q1 subsequent yr. So it’s coming very quickly. And just a bit little bit of a backdrop and the way we ended up with this expertise and the way in the end we are able to declare what we declare. So, after we selected going into the battery area, we had an 18-month expertise choice course of. And after we did that course of, we had been asking ourselves three issues, or we had been on the lookout for three issues I ought to say.

The very first thing we had been on the lookout for was a expertise that was commercially confirmed or commercially launched as a result of we needed to maneuver quick into the market. We have three core mantras in FREYR, it’s velocity, scale, and sustainability and every part we do relies on that. If we are able to’t transfer quicker, if we are able to’t construct greater, and if we are able to’t do it sustainably, we simply don’t do it. So that’s very form of disciplining by way of how we strategy issues. And so everybody is aware of this in FREYR and everybody has that form of engraved virtually of their brow.

So the very first thing we had been on the lookout for, commercially launched expertise as a result of we don’t imagine in, for us as an organization, to do a 10-year expertise improvement program, we simply don’t have time for that. So that was standards primary. Criteria quantity two was that we had been on the lookout for a expertise that would provide step change in efficiency and value, as a result of on the finish of the day, we have to drive down price and we have to enhance efficiency and these are oftentimes two sides of the identical coin. And as you realize, producing batteries is a trade-off sport. So we would have liked to have a look at what applied sciences on the market supplied one of the best stability in these totally different commerce offs with power density, energy density, cycle life, price, security, all of these issues which might be necessary.

The third factor we had been on the lookout for, Bill, was a capability to additional scale and additional enhance over time. So we needed to have a expertise that not solely supplied these step adjustments initially, however may actually develop with us as batteries penetrate the bigger and bigger fraction of the worldwide economic system. Now while you apply these three filters onto the worldwide expertise panorama, there aren’t that many corporations left standing. And the one which stood out from the gang for us was 24M Technologies out of Boston. So that’s a MIT spinoff based by Yet-Ming Chiang, a fabric science professor at MIT, who mainly set out on a journey with the next, let’s name it, preliminary speculation. Lithium-ion batteries had been launched by Sony Murata again in 1991. So it’s a 30-ish yr previous trade, it’s fairly younger relative to different industries, however the batteries that had been launched again then had been batteries that had been constructed and designed for handheld gadgets; camcorders, video cameras, Walkmans, these sorts of issues.

And then, since everybody needed a laptop computer and everybody needed a handheld gadget, these battery manufacturing amenities had been scaled to excessive heaven and the availability chains had been optimized and prices got here down dramatically. As we all know, simply over the past 10 years, prices of batteries have dropped by greater than 90%. And since they had been launched in ’91, they’ve most likely dropped by 95% to 98%, possibly 99%. So it’s come down considerably. But the batteries themselves are principally the identical as had been launched again then. So they’re small, cylindrical batteries or prismatic batteries or pouch-form batteries, however fairly small and also you simply put the variety of them into the product in query. So Tesla, as an illustration, has greater than 7,000 of those cylindrical batteries within the backside of their Model S or no matter fashions they’re having. And then you could put loads of modules round it, loads of packs round it, loads of security methods round it, but it surely’s not likely designed for that function. It’s simply occurred to be launched into that product spectrum as a result of price got here down.

So 24M mentioned, “There’s obtained to be a greater method to produce bigger, thicker batteries carrying extra power per volumetric unit of product and extra appropriate for electrical mobility. And then additionally much more appropriate for giant scale power storage,” as a result of right this moment batteries designed for electrical mobility are additionally utilized in even bigger functions in containerized options to retailer daylight and wind. And once more, it’s even much less applicable from a kind issue perspective for that function. So that’s what 24M did; they redesigned the battery to be a lot bigger and far thicker. So take into consideration fewer repetitive layers of anodes and cathodes within the battery and far bigger electrodes floor areas, which lets you put fewer items of batteries into the ultimate product, which lets you get rid of loads of system degree prices and so forth. So that’s actually 24M, it’s a redesign of the battery and never least, a redesign of the manufacturing course of.

So it is a dramatically simplified manufacturing course of the place as a substitute of filling the electrolyte on the finish of the manufacturing system, which is what standard battery options do, it’s a semi-automated, pretty lengthy, a number of step manufacturing course of with semi-manual handover between every step of the manufacturing chain. They took the very intelligent form of strategy of utilizing the electrolyte because the solvent and the binder up entrance, eliminating-

Bill Nussey:

Oh, fascinating.

Tom Jensen:

… the necessity for these chemical substances and having the electrolyte embedded within the lively supplies from the beginning, which lets you take away all of those manufacturing steps which might be linked to solvent restoration, which is basically requiring loads of warmth, loads of area, that are limiting by way of velocity of manufacturing and so forth and so forth. So what all of this implies is that we scale back the footprint on a per gigawatt hour foundation by greater than 80%, eight zero, of the power.

Bill Nussey:

Wow.

Tom Jensen:

That in fact means dramatic discount in metal and development prices and constructing and infrastructure and all of that. We additionally use dramatically decrease quantities of power as a result of we aren’t utilizing all of this power to get better the solvents and the binders that you just discover in standard expertise. That is a dramatic discount. So greater than 60% much less power consumed within the manufacturing course of itself. Since it’s such a smaller course of with fewer manufacturing steps, we additionally want lower than half as many individuals per set up capability and we are able to most likely produce it at a lot larger velocity.

So all of this mixed signifies that we’re extra capital environment friendly, so that you get extra gigawatt hours per million of greenback form of invested in a selected facility and also you get much more automated manufacturing out of it, which once more signifies that they’re most likely, in a median sense, larger, extra engineering levels on common, let’s put it that method, into the power itself. And subsequently we get much more out of the power than what standard options do.

Final factor I’d say is the wonder is that we are able to use the identical uncooked supplies which have already been scaled. So we don’t must scale a brand new steel or a brand new enter issue. We can use nickel, manganese, cobalt oxide cathodes, we are able to use lithium-ion phosphate cathodes, we are able to use graphite-based anodes, we are able to use silicone within the anodes, we are able to use any uncooked materials that has already been launched in standard methods. But due to the redesign of the battery itself, and never least the manufacturing course of, there are dramatic enhancements that come from it. The first line at gigawatt our scale measurement, and that’s what we are actually beginning up in Q1. It’s one thing we label the shopper qualification plant, that may really be the primary time an precise industrial scale manufacturing line of the 20 body expertise at gigawatt energy scale will turn into operational.

And that’s taking place in Q1 subsequent yr and it’s taking place in glorious Arctic circumstances in Norway, in Mo i Rana. And we’re going to ask loads of outstanding folks, together with yourselves, to witness this opening someday within the not so distant future. And we imagine that that is going to be a step change for the entire lithium-ion battery trade. And we intention to push these options not solely into Giga Arctic, which might be eight of those manufacturing strains that we’re beginning up in Q1 subsequent yr, after which we are able to replicate these eight manufacturing strains in modularized approaches elsewhere on the earth. So that’s a bit of bit why we’re enthusiastic about it and why we expect we are able to make a distinction on this trade. And that ties nicely again, Bill, to my raison d’être, so to talk, within the battery trade. I actually needed to take one thing to scale shortly that we may replicate many locations and to this point, knock on wooden, so good.

Bill Nussey:

That’s rather a lot to soak up and my jaw is on the desk. It’s a implausible story. It actually speaks to 2 factors that I attempt to make on this ebook I wrote. One is that form of new chemistries are overrated. There’s loads of worth for it and the favored media is filled with tales about different chemistries to lithium ion and hopefully they’ll all work out. But one of many factors I make within the ebook is that taking present applied sciences and weaving them collectively in a brand new method, typically in a method that nobody else was serious about, turning the issue inside out is strictly what you’re doing. You’re taking some of these things that’s recognized and also you’re spinning it round in a method that nobody else had thought of and also you’re creating efficiencies that take the standard strategy and take it to a wholly new degree.

And the opposite factor I’m enthusiastic about this, and I reference within the ebook, is {that a} day doesn’t go by the place somebody doesn’t inform me, “Well, we’ve just about gotten all the associated fee out of batteries we’re going to get. Lithium goes to turn into inconceivable to seek out.” And in fact I do know that’s not the case, and simply we’re not going to see batteries get less expensive and so they ask, “Well, how’s it going to get cheaper?” And my level is that I don’t must know. There are hundreds of the neatest folks on the earth engaged on this drawback and nobody thinks that we’re close to the top besides people who haven’t really regarded on the drawback. And you guys are proving this out in a spectacular style.

And if I could make it out to your opening, I might be there. That sounds thrilling and I might like to see that. One of my favourite issues, after I was writing the ebook, was visiting factories. We visited loads of photo voltaic factories, wind producers, went to China, Europe, and met with one of many founders of Jinko and Solar, so we love factories. [inaudible 00:29:57] in direction of a few of the factories right here in Georgia too.

But hear, let’s speak a bit of bit about your gigafactory strategy and the way you’re going to be constructing this within the US. And you talked about earlier that Inflation Reduction Act was a set off so that you can rethink and put it right here. So two questions, I assume you possibly can reply them collectively, what particularly, while you analyze the IRA, brought on you to say, “This is a tipping level. We’re now going to look severe on the US?” And as a Georgian, I’m really from New York, however I’m a proud Georgian, lived right here for half my life, what’s it about this state that, of all of the states, significantly within the south that I’m positive had been vying to get your corporation, why did you select Georgia?

Tom Jensen:

So, I imply we went public on the New York Stock Exchange as a result of we needed to have entry to the biggest and most subtle capital market on the earth. And I imply timing was very sturdy, so we did it simply earlier than the SPAC downturn form of began to hit the market. So we went public by SPAC acquisition and we had been one of many final ones that had been profitable out of the gate. And we’re fairly happy with the efficiency to this point, although the markets are fairly difficult round us in the meanwhile. We’ve been timing our capital market entry, I believe fairly nicely. We’ve been capable of elevate vital quantity of capital from the US market and from the US inventory alternate I ought to say.

But that was not the one purpose why we needed to be within the US as a result of as I mentioned earlier, we do imagine that there’s solely a matter of time earlier than the US wakes as much as the power transition and wakes up in a fabric method, pun supposed. And they did with the Inflation Reduction Act, and this has form of been my level all alongside. When the US wakes as much as this, they’re going to place incentives behind it, they’re going to place mind energy behind it, they’re going to place capital behind it like nobody else. And what’s a bit of bit fascinating to me to witness is that Europe now’s in a method “complaining” for the US placing these very sturdy incentives in place, whereas beforehand Europe has been complaining as a result of the US hasn’t actually form of leaned into mitigating local weather change.

Bill Nussey:

I observed that.

Tom Jensen:

And what actually the Inflation Reduction Act is all about is to speed up two issues. It’s to speed up mitigation of local weather change and it’s to speed up the discount of power prices. Inflation Reduction Act, proper? So that’s form of behind it. And they wish to put some huge cash behind scaling renewable power options within the United States, together with very sturdy incentives for battery manufacturing and the availability chain going into battery manufacturing and never least standalone storage developments coupled with photo voltaic or on a standalone foundation. So all of this has been granted, should you like, very vital incentives on this $400 billion plus bundle. And from a battery cell manufacturing standpoint, we have now very sturdy incentives on producing battery cells within the US, very sturdy incentives on producing modules and packs within the US, and there’s additionally incentives to provide cathode lively supplies and anode lively supplies and so forth and so forth.

So when the Inflation Reduction Act was introduced, we had already began our website choice course of, Bill. So we had been in the course of it. We investigated greater than 130 websites throughout 25 states.

Bill Nussey:

Wow. Wow.

Tom Jensen:

And we did it with probably the most subtle website choice advisors within the nation. And we evaluated most likely shut to twenty totally different parameters. But after we ended up in Coweta County, Cow Eater I’m advised I’m imagined to pronounce it, proper? Cow-eater. So Coweta County in Georgia, there have been form of three foremost issues. Availability of expertise, so that is near massive, competent inhabitants swimming pools. The infrastructure is superb. That was the second level. And the supply of utilities and renewable power was a 3rd form of element. And there are a number of different causes, together with the native and state incentive bundle and plenty of different issues, but when I form of dumb it down, so to talk, to form of three issues, it’s expertise, infrastructure, and utilities. And these had been… And we’ve been welcomed in an incredible style, southern hospitality, southern attraction form of factor.

Bill Nussey:

It’s true. It’s true.

Tom Jensen:

And very competent folks and succesful people who have taken us in with open arms so we actually really feel welcome. We safe 368 acres of prime industrial land with an choice to go to 500 acres, and that’s most likely 20 occasions plus bigger than the acreage we’re constructing Giga Arctic on. So the power for us to develop, not solely with a number of amenities, but additionally go upstream and downstream is a part of the explanation why we have now taken that land, we’ve acquired it, we management it, and now we’re form of neck deep into the following part, defining the precise idea, which might be largely a reproduction of what we’re constructing in Norway, however tailored to the surroundings and such, et cetera.

And then we’re trying into what renewable power resolution ought to we have now? Should we construct a devoted photo voltaic plus storage facility subsequent to our facility to make sure that we have now a devoted power provide? Or will we form of enter right into a long-term PPA with a utility within the space primarily based on renewable power? And it’s most likely going to be a mixture, however we’re going to remain true to our three rules, Bill. It’s sustainability, velocity, and scale, and coming to the US, and coming to a theater close to you, it’s taking place as we converse.

Bill Nussey:

Wow, that’s a implausible story, Tom. To return to one thing you mentioned a minute in the past in regards to the IRA, I believe one of many untold advantages and one of many causes it obtained completed in any respect in a divisive political surroundings, and one of many causes it would most likely survive the approaching divisive political environments, is that at its core, it’s additionally about jobs and that’s one thing that every one political events, they discover so many issues to battle over, however jobs is one thing they have a tendency to agree on, even after they attempt to battle over it. And I believe that the IRA goes to create loads of jobs and there’s loads of very particular elements there that create jobs in low-income areas within the nation, union jobs, and we are able to all debate what’s good and unhealthy about all that, however the backside line is that it’s about jobs.

And I believe that’s one of many advantages of Georgia is that, once more, you’ve obtained all types of disagreements about what the state ought to and shouldn’t do and who ought to do what, however all people right here loves jobs and the state appears to have fallen in love with clear power jobs and also you guys are one of many best examples of a corporation making a call. So we don’t work for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce by any stretch, however we’re proud to stay right here and excited that you just guys are constructing your manufacturing unit right here.

And by the way in which, I might be remiss to not throw in, as a result of this podcast is all about native power, that while you’re deciding between a PPA and native photo voltaic, the listeners of our podcast are all palms up within the air for native photo voltaic and that’s actually the raison d’être for Freeing Energy. So I simply thought I’d throw that in there for you. And in actual fact, I believe you’re most likely one of many only a few visitors that isn’t a hardcore native power fanatic, however we figured we had you for a couple of minutes, we’d begin to convert you, however we’re simply so excited in regards to the battery story and the dimensions at which we’re working that we had been adamant, a lot of our listeners had been excited to have you ever on the present. I’m so glad that you’ve.

So a pair fast questions simply to wrap up. You’re going to be making all these new batteries within the Arctic and in America right here. Do you realize the off takers already? Are they going to be in automobiles? Are they going to be grid scale? Residential scale? Where are you aware, what are your plans right this moment for the off-takers?

Tom Jensen:

So we have already got signed a 38 gigawatt hour off-take settlement with Nidec Corporation, a Japanese conglomerate that’s the world chief in electrical engines, but additionally one of many world leaders in ESS functions. So they’ve 130 initiatives in Europe and the US and different locations on the earth. So we’re constructing, we’ve introduced a three way partnership with them the place we’re constructing modules and packs and containerized DSS options, DC blocks form of merchandise subsequent to our Giga Arctic facility. And we have now a bunch of different preliminary off-take agreements introduced with a broad number of different power storage prospects. We are within the closing phases of shifting into e-mobility. So first you’ll usually see us going into buses, vehicles, supply vans, and the like. And in fact a lot of the massive OEMs, specifically the European ones, we’re additionally in deep discussions with for locating options for them.

But we form of took it the opposite method round. We imagine that the power storage market or the ESS market goes to be as large from a battery standpoint because the EV market. And it’s form of missed a bit of bit on many, but it surely’s form of apparent to us that while you introduce, you could triple electrical energy manufacturing to decarbonize society. And meaning 20 folding put in photo voltaic and wind capability. And we have to do this within the subsequent 20 years should you’re going to be fairly on observe to mitigate local weather change. And if that’s true, we have to most likely 200 to 400 fold put in power storage capability. And that’s why we began down that path with LFP cathode materials. And then we’re form of shifting the opposite method from ESS to electrical automobiles versus the opposite method round. And that’s an fascinating enterprise mannequin that’s producing loads of traction and it’s form of an “simpler”, not simple, however simpler path to market and that’s why we’re doing it. So it’s best to count on vital triple digit gigawatt hour off-take agreements popping out of FREYR.

Having mentioned that, we enter into long-term off-take agreements with companions as a result of we wish to appeal to aggressive mission finance, however over time we imagine this market goes to be considerably quick, at the very least for the approaching decade or two as a result of it’s simply not simple to construct out battery capability and we’re going to be in need of it. So so long as we’re capable of construct amenities, we will promote these batteries any day of the week and twice on Sunday for the following 20 years. So that is the-

Bill Nussey:

I utterly agree.

Tom Jensen:

… largest secular shift in human historical past. The power transition is upon us. It must occur over the following couple of many years and we’re in the proper markets on the proper time. And anybody who needs to affix us on that journey, be it are you curious about a job or are you to purchase batteries or are you to produce stuff to us or work with us in any method, we’re open for enterprise and as I mentioned, we’re, in a theater close to you.

Bill Nussey:

I adore it. Well, Tom, that is implausible and since we’re form of out of time, I needed to simply carry the aircraft in for touchdown as we are saying and wrap up with what we do with all of our visitors we’re privileged to talk with, the 4 lightning spherical questions. So I’m simply going to hit you with these 4 questions, fast solutions, no matter involves thoughts, and right here we go. First lightning spherical query, what excites you most about being within the clear power enterprise?

Tom Jensen:

The skill to mitigate local weather change.

Bill Nussey:

All proper, should you may wave a magic wand and alter only a single factor proper now, what wouldn’t it be?

Tom Jensen:

Replicate the Inflation Reduction Act in Europe.

Bill Nussey:

I like that. All proper. What do you suppose would be the single most necessary change in how we generate, retailer, and distribute electrical energy within the subsequent 5 years?

Tom Jensen:

Recognition that distributed rooftop photo voltaic, home and industrial and industrial, will turn into the principle power offering supply globally.

Bill Nussey:

Oh my gosh. The proper reply is batteries, however that’s the second-best reply. Holy cow, Tom, you win the prize of the yr. This is one of the best reply we’ve heard all yr. We’re going to cite you on that. Thank you. And last reply, I’m positive on this function you’ve gotten, you get requested by lots of people who do wish to get into the trade, into the battery trade, into the clear power trade, into this, the local weather trade. When somebody asks, how do I assist make this transition quicker? What can I do personally to get entangled? What do you inform them?

Tom Jensen:

You need to know why you wish to be there. That’s what I inform everybody in FREYR. Why are you right here? As lengthy as you realize why you’re right here, then you realize what to inform your self while you stand up within the morning. I’m right here as a result of I’m deeply frightened about local weather change and I wish to make the world a greater place for my kids. That’s why I’m right here. That is nice sufficient for me each morning after I’m drained and I must double down on something. The most necessary factor that anybody can do is to know the explanation why they’re doing what they’re doing. It doesn’t must be the identical purpose as I’ve, however must be a purpose and that purpose must be recognized by you.

Bill Nussey:

Well, thanks. Thank you. And I believe one of many causes I do all this, as a result of Sam and I do that at our personal price and we don’t take sponsors or advertisers, the viewers has grown tremendously. The purpose we do that is that there are folks like your self and your workforce doing work that doesn’t get the mainstream press, doesn’t present up precisely in some form of statistic, however the work that you just’re doing is actually altering the world and you’ve got a steely-eyed, competent, extremely considerate strategy to do it, it makes us believers, it will get us excited, and it offers us a way of optimism that the long run is one thing we are able to really be hopeful about. And you and your workforce are a fabric a part of getting us there. So thanks a lot for all of the work that you just and your workforce are doing, to all of your buyers, and we are able to’t wait to see you, possibly in Norway, however undoubtedly in Georgia. Great work. Thank you a lot in your time right this moment, Tom.

Tom Jensen:

Thanks, Bill. Pleasure to be right here. Let me know after I can come again.



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