Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Grove Battery Plant Closure Has Wider Implications

Newspaper article THE JOURNAL RECORD

Grove Battery Plant Closure Has Wider Implications

Article excerpt

In its advanced lead acid battery plant in Grove, Xtreme Power manufactured batteries used to store energy from wind and solar power. The Kyle, Texas-based company announced in late November that it would close the plant and lay off dozens of workers due to low demand.

This is bad for the town, but is a sign the industry is moving toward more efficient technology. However, new technology in batteries may mean that production and recycling operations are moved overseas.

Brandon Boozer, a franchisee for Batteries Plus in Oklahoma City, said that while lead may be a cost-effective commodity to make batteries, it isn't efficient design-wise. Lithium batteries can store more power per square inch and weigh less. Batteries made with lithium, iron and phosphorus cost five to 10 times the amount of the lead version, but are dramatically more efficient, he said.

Diane Cullo, president of Slab Watchdog, said the Grove plant closure is a sign that demand and the battery industry is changing. …

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