By Caitlyn Finnegan
The Alachua County Board of Commissioners has approved a motion to offer a qualified target industry incentive for Encell Technology, an Alachua-based company that designs battery storage and management systems.
Encell plans to expand its scope of business to include light manufacturing, and will add 167 jobs to the area through its expanded facility located off U.S. Highway 441 in the former Energizer campus. Although the company values its current location for already having a battery manufacturing infrastructure in place, Alachua is not as close to a major city as the company would prefer, Encell’s Chief Finance Officer Chris Maier noted in the company’s QTI application.
The company is also considering Louisiana, Virginia and North Carolina as potential locations. Encell’s current location will require an investment of $7 million to bring it up to requirements for a proper production facility and current regulatory codes. Encell has established its research and development branch in Alachua over the past five years, and will keep its R&D department in its current location even if it chooses to move its manufacturing facility to a different area.
Alachua County is still being considered as an option for a manufacturing location thanks to its access to the Interstate 75 corridor, railroads and colleges where it can recruit future employees.
The projected average annual wage from the new manufacturing positions would come out to $73,770, with $15,000 in additional benefits. Encell plans to make an overall capital investment of $26 million to cover equipment costs, land purchases and renovations of the 180,000-square-foot facility.
“There are very few projects that come along with such a positive economic impact score,” Commissioner Robert Hutchinson said.
Encell is expected to make its final location decision by June 30, and will begin construction on its new facilities in September.
The clean technology company currently operates with two areas of focus: creating environmentally friendly and efficient battery storage systems to collect and retain energy from alternative energy installations, as well as develop battery maintenance and monitoring products under its Sentinel brand to lengthen the lifespan of batteries in power-critical environments.