Energimyndigheten, the Swedish Energy Agency has granted support of up to SEK 146 million ($18 million) to Northvolt's pilot plant, Northvolt Labs, for large-scale battery manufacturing in Sweden.
The project is about building and operating a pilot plant for the production of lithium-ion batteries in Västerås, Sweden. You may remember our story on Northvolt and its founder, the former Tesla executive Peter Carlsson, who returned to Sweden to kick off his dream project. It ran in issue 10, 2017 at which point Northvolt was in the process of final evaluation of 10 different sites in Scandinavia. Last autumn it became clear that the battery manufacturer would build its plant in Skellefteå in Sweden’s north, and its research and development unit in Västerås, an hour west of Stockholm. In Skellefteå it is expected that construction will start at the end of 2018, while the development work in Västerås has already begun. According to Carlsson, Northvolt's factory will create 2,000 to 2,500 jobs in Skellefteå, and the development site in Västerås is expected to generate 300 to 400 jobs.

The environmental and climate benefits of a large-scale battery production are large, according to Sweden’s Energy Agency. Among other things, the Swedish electricity mix means that carbon dioxide outputs for battery production can be halved compared to, for example, the Asian mix of power generation. Batteries will also be of great importance in the conversion of the transport system and the road that leads to a sustainable Swedish energy system.

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Life Made Sweder

"Sweden's unique, safe, competitive and green energy system is an important factor in the creation of new industries and the creation of new jobs. The switch to electrification creates new opportunities and a large-scale battery production is important for Sweden's central role in this conversion and to reduce the climate impact of the transport sector at us in Sweden and globally,” the Swedish Energy Agency's Director General Erik Brandsma comments in a press release.
The project is divided into several phases and extends from 2018 to the end of 2023. The aid from the Swedish Energy Agency corresponds to 20 percent of the supported costs. The conditional payments of the support are made in stages and under the provision that Northvolt has secured co-financing and achieves other interim goals in the project.

The story of Northvolt is the story of one man's vision. Peter Carlsson's career path and the inside story of Northvolt: Right man, right time, right place ...