Controlled Thermal Resources Holdings Inc. (CTR) broke ground today on the world's first fully integrated lithium and renewable power production facility as part of its multi-billion-dollar clean energy precinct – the Lithium Valley Campus.
CTR was joined by community leaders and notable dignitaries, including the Honorable John Podesta, Senior Advisor to the President for Clean Energy Innovation and Implementation, to mark this pivotal moment in the nation's drive toward clean energy independence.
The 1.85-billion-dollar development – the first of seven project stages, includes a clean energy geothermal power plant integrated with a lithium production facility, which is expected to produce 25,000 metric tons of battery-grade lithium hydroxide monohydrate each year, supporting the annual production of approximately 415,000 electric vehicles.
Construction commencement of the company’s first project stage is central to CTR's larger vision for the Lithium Valley Campus, which includes the co-location of specialized battery material manufacturers onsite to enable direct access to CTR’s clean lithium and renewable baseload electricity. Bringing together multiple industries essential to battery manufacture in one location will transform the current fragmented and carbon-intensive battery supply chain and create an estimated 480 good-paying union construction jobs and, ultimately, thousands of clean energy jobs in the community.
"Today, we are building the foundations for a truly sustainable battery materials and clean energy campus that will close the gap between upstream, midstream, and downstream activities and set new standards for battery supply chain integration in the United States," CTR's Chief Executive Officer, Rod Colwell, said.
"This has been a massive collaborative effort that required a coordinated approach across all levels of government and an incredible amount of support from our community.”
Today’s groundbreaking, which also celebrates the United Nations’ International Day of Clean Energy, comes just two months after the Department of Energy and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory released its comprehensive report confirming California's Salton Sea Geothermal Field as one of the largest lithium brine resources in the world with a resource capacity to support production of 382 million electric vehicle batteries.
General Motors' early identification of the Salton Sea as a sustainable domestic lithium resource and its support and alliance with CTR have been some of the fundamental driving forces behind the development’s success to date.
"GM was proud to be first-in on this Lithium Valley project with CTR in 2021, and we're excited to be breaking ground just three years later," said Jeff Morrison, vice president of Global Purchasing and Supply Chain at General Motors. "Our investments in this new facility and the surrounding community are helping ensure our ability to make powerful, affordable EVs while also helping to mitigate environmental impact."
Congressman Dr. Raul Ruiz (Rep. 25th District), Secretary Rodney Slater, Former U.S. Secretary of Transportation, Jeff Marootian, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Chris Hannan, President, State Building and Construction Trades Council of California, Sham Kunjur, Executive Director, Batteries, Fuel Cells, & Commodities - General Motors, Supervisor Ryan Kelley, Imperial County Board of Supervisors, Director Alex Cardenas, President of the IID Board of Directors, and Assemblymember Eduardo Garcia, (D-Coachella) joined community and industry leaders in support of the Lithium Valley Campus and the environmental and economic benefits it will create.
“This groundbreaking is not just a major milestone for CTR, but it marks a critical milestone for energy independence in the United States,” Rod concluded. “After twelve years of hard work and more than our fair share of challenges, we are all standing here today as living proof that great things can be achieved when the community, industry, and government come together with a common purpose and a shared goal. This is just the beginning.”