These made-in-Pittsburgh batteries could spark profit for New Jersey company

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / January 28, 2021

Turtle Creek operation hopes riding the hot trends will generate hundreds of jobs

 

EOS Energy Enterprises is riding several hot trends as the company looks to boost the profile of its zinc batteries.

One is that the batteries are made in America — more specifically, in Turtle Creek in a space once occupied by Westinghouse Electric Co.

Another is that the batteries being churned out at the Pittsburgh-area facility are made from easy-to-source materials, won’t catch on fire and can be fully recycled. That is meant to set them apart from the yet-undefeated champion of energy storage, the lithium-ion battery, which has conquered the market for both stationary and electric vehicle applications.

And here’s a third: the New Jersey-based EOS went public in November when it was acquired by a special purpose acquisition company — a blank-check vehicle for raising money from investors with the goal of eventually acquiring assets. SPACs are hot tickets in this market.

Last year, nearly 250 such companies went public, including Pittsburgh-based Rice Acquisition Corp., run by Rice Energy Inc. alumni. So far this year, the count is at 80, according to SPACinsider.com.

EOS’s deal with the special purpose acquisition company “took the pressure off,” CEO Joe Mastrangelo said.

The deal freed EOS of its debt, recapitalized the company as it was ramping up commercial manufacturing and allowed it to present its business forecast to the public, he said. EOS’s investor materials state it has $16 million in booked orders and $3.6 billion in the pipeline.

Launch, pause, relaunch

The Pittsburgh manufacturing facility currently has 50 employees, but Mr. Mastrangelo is hoping that, as the company adds more production lines, he will need up to 350 workers over the next 12 to 18 months.

This isn’t a case of a startup rushing into large-scale manufacturing (a move many critics suggested felled Pittsburgh battery-tech darling Aquion Energy Inc., which filed for bankruptcy and was sold to a Chinese company in 2017.)

EOS has actually been around since 2008.