The project is the first phase of development in the $50 million Kitselmen Pure Energy Park master planned development and will rehabilitate and environmentally remediate the former Indiana Steel and Wire building, a 50+ acre brownfield site which has been commercially unproductive for more than 15 years. Upon completion, the project will manufacture mobile power stations (MPS), which are essentially zero-emission car-sized batteries on wheels that can drive at speeds up to 25 miles per hour and be remotely operated or operated with pedals and a steering wheel, similar to a car. The MPS are designed to transport and store electricity and power work in remote areas where hooking up to the electric grid is not practical. The MPS are also capable of replacing many single function diesel-fueled utility vehicles as users have the ability to attach heavy equipment to utilize the MPS for tasks that a forklift, excavator, or snowplow would traditionally perform. The end user for the product is companies and governmental agencies that are involved in infrastructure construction, infrastructure maintenance, and emergency response. The project will include a 5mW rooftop solar array, which will provide 100% of the energy needs for the project and provide power back to the grid during the longer summer months. Additionally, as the product being manufactured utilized large battery packs, finished goods inventory will be connected to the building and power systems to serve as battery back-up for the site.
Community Alignment: The Project is supported by local officials, with Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler stating, “This project is about catalyzing a revitalization of the City of Muncie, and ties into the fundamental themes of our city’s plan … This is a testament to Muncie’s focused and collaborative approach to creating the public and private partnerships that are necessary for talent attraction, increased investment, and population growth.” The City of Muncie has granted $3 million in TIF financing in support of the project. The project is also aligned with the goals of the Muncie 2020-2024 Consolidated Plan, designed to help the community of Muncie assess community needs and formulate strategies to improve the state of the local economy, as well as the East Central Indiana Regional Development Plan, which was written by the State of Indiana for the purpose of advancing the economic interests of the East Central Indiana region.