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Ballard Power plans $160 million Texas giga factory with 3 GW fuel cell capacity

Image: Ballard Power

Hydrogen fuel cell company Ballard Power Systems announced it planned to invest $160 million to set up a new giga factory in Rockwell, Texas, to manufacture fuel cell components and systems.

Ballard said the new plant -- Ballard Rockwall Giga 1 -- would have annual production capacity of 8 million membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs), 8 million bipolar plates, 20,000 fuel cell stacks, and up to 20,000 fuel cell engines per year, or the equivalent of 3 GW of fuel cells, in Phase 1 of construction. It plans to expand capacities thereafter in phased brownfield expansions.

The company has already secured a grant of $40 million from the US Department of Energy for the factory, which will be ready by 2027. The $40 million grant comprises $30 million related to advanced proton exchange membrane (PEM) MEAs and automated stack assembly, and $10 million for a next-generation flexible graphite bipolar plate manufacturing line. Ballard, which claims it has more than 1,700 fuel cell buses in operation worldwide, has also applied for other government grants.

Randy MacEwen, Ballard's President & Chief Executive Officer, said in a release: "We are grateful for the strong support of the DoE's hydrogen policies that position the US for future scaling of hydrogen and fuel cells. This is particularly important as the US accelerates a path towards environmental sustainability and energy security, while continuing to boost domestic manufacturing and bolster critical supply chains."

Dr. Lee Sweetland, Ballard's Chief Transformation Officer, commented: "We have been working hard to develop next-generation, automated production processes for MEAs, bipolar plates, and stack assembly that will position Ballard to meet expected future market demand, while significantly driving down the cost of our market-leading fuel cell engines."

"With an increasingly constructive policy environment and growing customer interest, it is critical to invest in this innovative manufacturing line," he said. 

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