October 19, 2022

Cortez Masto Announces Over $107 Million in Funding She Secured to Support Nevada’s Growing Energy Economy

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) announced that over $107 million is headed to Nevada to support companies manufacturing and recycling components of lithium-ion batteries, which play a crucial role in the country’s growing clean-energy economy. The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) will award $57,744,831 to the American Battery Technology Company (ABTC) to help develop new lithium extraction techniques in Tonopah, as well as $50,000,000 to Lilac Solutions to develop a lithium manufacturing facility in Fernley, Nevada. Together, these projects will support over 300 new, good-paying jobs in Nevada and further boost the area’s growing economy.

This funding was made possible thanks to Senator Cortez Masto’s efforts to ensure the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included her Battery Material Processing and Component Manufacturing Act to promote battery manufacturing and recycling projects in Nevada and across the country.

“Nevada’s clean-energy economy is booming, and I made sure the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law included funding to create even more good-paying jobs in this industry,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Nevada is leading the way in domestic battery manufacturing and recycling, and we’re perfectly positioned to turn these investments into lasting economic growth, and expand our global competitiveness.”

“We are very honored and excited to have been selected as an awardee of this program enabled by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. This funding directly supports the much-needed acceleration and ramp up of secure domestic manufacturing and refining capacity of Nevada-based battery metals, and we greatly appreciate the confidence the administration has placed in us by making this investment towards our sustainable future,” said American Battery Technology Company CEO Ryan Melsert. “Many thanks to our Nevada congressional delegation, including Senator Cortez Masto, for her continued support throughout this process.”

“Lilac is thrilled to be selected for this award by the Department of Energy, and to accelerate our Nevada expansion,” said Nick Goldberg, Chief Legal Officer for Lilac Solutions. “Our Fernley manufacturing facility will produce the materials that form the backbone of next generation lithium projects in the United States and around the world. We are grateful for the support we’ve received from the state of Nevada to date, and we look forward to Fernley becoming a significant hub for the domestic battery materials supply chain.”

More information on ABTC’s project can be found in Senator Cortez Masto’s letter of support for ABTC’s grant application hereThis grant funding will support ABTC with the design, construction, commissioning, and operations of a new, commercial-scale facility in Tonopah to manufacture battery-grade lithium hydroxide. This process uses less energy and water than traditional methods and will help expand the domestic-US lithium resource base. ABTC will partner with UNR and other institutions for the project. The project is expected to create 150 new jobs.

More information on Lilac’s project can be found in Senator Cortez Masto’s letter of support for Lilac’s grant application hereLilac aims to construct a manufacturing facility in Fernley that will produce lithium extraction materials for use at lithium projects in the United States and abroad that utilize Lilac’s lithium extraction technology. Lilac’s technology is environmentally friendly and greatly improves the efficiency of lithium production. The Fernley project is expected to create over 150 new local jobs and have over $200 million of local economic impact.

Through her Innovation State economic agenda, Senator Cortez Masto has been a longtime proponent of renewable and sustainable energy. The Bipartisan Infrastructure Law includes legislation Cortez Masto secured to promote Nevada’s mining and emerging battery industries and set up a sustainable critical mineral supply chain. She recently introduced legislation to strengthen the domestic supply chain for rare-earth magnets manufactured in the United States by creating a production tax credit for companies that create these magnets. She has also introduced legislation to expand the solar manufacturing supply chain in the U.S. Pieces of these bills were included in the Inflation Reduction Act, providing significant tax credits to create jobs, and spur Nevada’s growing clean-energy economy. In 2020, she secured an extension of the Investment Tax Credit and the residential renewable energy tax credit for solar. Senator Cortez Masto was also able to successfully advocate for two additional years of renewable energy tax credits for the solar industry and its workers.