Follow Us

Mitsubishi receives $50M federal energy grant for planned Kentucky plant

The Biden Administration spread $169 million across nine projects slated to bolster electric heat pump manufacturing across the country.

Published: November 30, 2023 6:34pm

Updated: November 30, 2023 6:34pm

(The Center Square) -

Kentucky stands to benefit from a $50 million grant the U.S. Department of Energy awarded to Mitsubishi earlier this month.

The Biden Administration spread $169 million across nine projects slated to bolster electric heat pump manufacturing across the country. The DOE awards were made using President Biden’s emergency authority, citing the need for cleaner energy products due to threats caused by climate change.

“The president is using his wartime emergency powers under the Defense Production Act to turbocharge U.S. manufacturing of clean technologies and strengthen our energy security,” Biden’s National Climate Advisor Ali Zaidi said in a Nov. 17 statement announcing the awards.

According to the project’s description, Mitsubishi Electric US plans to build a factory in Kentucky to manufacture variable capacity compressors for all-climate heat pumps. The pumps are designed to work well in cold conditions while emitting fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

“Nearly all the variable capacity compressors currently used in all-climate heat pumps sold in the U.S. are manufactured in Asia,” the project summary stated. “The Mitsubishi Electric plant would provide a domestic supply source for these critical heat pump components.”

The total planned investment for the project was not disclosed, but it includes using solar power to run the factory.

During his weekly press conference Thursday, Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear told reporters the grant was “incredible news” and that state officials are working with Mitsubishi leaders to identify a location for the new factory.

“My understanding is this is the first of its kind, that this federal cabinet has never invested in electric heat pumps before, and the first time they’re doing so is here in Kentucky,” the governor said.

The funds were allocated in last year’s Inflation Reduction Act, which the DOE said featured the “largest climate investment” ever by the federal government.

Earlier this month, U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said having electric heat pumps made in America will help reduce utility costs for homes and businesses.

“Thanks to President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, these investments will create thousands of high-quality, good-paying manufacturing jobs and strengthen America’s energy supply chain while creating healthier indoor spaces through home-grown clean energy technologies,” she said.

The Facts Inside Our Reporter's Notebook