Corvus Energy, a supplier of battery energy storage systems (BESS) for marine applications, has chosen Whatcom County to expand its U.S. operations and plans to open a new factory at the Port of Bellingham, port officials announced in late May.
The manufacturing facility, with an annual capacity of 200 MWh of stored energy capacity, would support demand for marine BESS in the Americas as the marine industry accelerates its adoption of decarbonization technology to meet targets for global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reductions, port officials said.
“Congratulations to the Port of Bellingham and Corvus Energy on the new facility here in Washington,” Gov. Jay Inslee said in a statement. “This is a great chapter in the ongoing partnership between Washington and Norway on combatting climate change and bringing to reality the green jobs of the future.”
Corvus Energy and the Port of Bellingham are both founding members of Washington Maritime Blue, a strategic alliance formed to implement the state’s Strategy for the Blue Economy. The partnership-based organization has led several delegations to Norway to engage with the Norwegian national and local governments, industry leaders and other innovation clusters in the maritime sector.
In September 2019, Don Goldberg, director of the Port of Bellingham’s Economic Development Division, joined the second delegation and met leadership from Corvus Energy. Upon his return to the U.S., he continued to try to recruit Corvus to Whatcom County and kept them updated as industrial properties that might suit their expansion needs became available, port officials said.
“Support from the Port of Bellingham in identifying a location was outstanding, they went above and beyond to help us in the site-selection process. Knowing that we had strong, long-term partners that would support our growth plans made the final decision to expand easy,” Corvus Energy said in a statement.
The market for Corvus’ products is expanding in the U.S., officials have said.
“We have seen a significant uptake in orders from the U.S. market as well as a growing commitment from the government and industry players on reducing GHG emissions,” Corvus Energy CEO Geir Bjørkeli explained. “Increased capacity and production flexibility will be key to meeting anticipated growth. The U.S. factory, along with a more robust sales and service organization, will ensure that we can meet American shipowners’ goals and market demand, providing better services to the U.S. maritime industry.”
“Washington state was a natural choice for Corvus due to the presence of a strong maritime cluster, the state’s focus on green shipping and the proximity to our large team near Vancouver, Canada,” Bjørkeli added. “We know that a U.S. presence and close collaboration with shipyards, shipowners, Washington Maritime Blue and other suppliers and service providers foster innovation across the entire industry and build valuable competence. This will work as an accelerator to create local, green jobs.”
“There is growing national and international demand for clean energy maritime solutions and Corvus Energy is well positioned for collaboration and growth as the newest member of our maritime community,” Port of Bellingham Executive Director Rob Fix said.
To assist in the setup of the new facility, the Washington State Department of Commerce has awarded Bellingham a $250,000 grant to support updating the building to suit Corvus’ needs.
“We are delighted to welcome Corvus Energy to Washington State, and congratulate the Port of Bellingham on this important partnership,” state Commerce Director Lisa Brown said. “Looking beyond our borders to join with global leaders like Corvus Energy is a key element of our strategy to grow strong, diverse regional economies through innovation.”
Josh Berger, president and CEO of Washington Maritime Blue. echoed the sentiment.
“As a founding member of Washington Maritime Blue, we are thrilled to see Corvus Energy grow right here in our region,” he commented. “As a statewide innovation cluster organization committed to accelerating a sustainable and equitable Blue Economy, we are building a center of excellence for maritime decarbonization, and their expertise will help us implement the type of collaborative joint innovation needed for our clean-energy transition.”
“Coordination and collaboration between the Port of Bellingham, Maritime Blue, and the Washington State Department of Commerce is what ultimately brought Corvus Energy, a global leader in maritime energy storage systems, to Whatcom County,” Goldberg said.