Mateo Jaramillo is the co-founder and CEO of the long-duration storage company Form Energy. 

Mateo has spent the last two decades building battery storage companies, with home base being California. But he just moved from Silicon Valley to the Rust Belt, where Form is scaling production of its iron-air batteries at an old steel mill in West Virginia.

The location sits at the intersection of major highways, rail lines, and waterways. And Form’s batteries sit at the intersection of the old energy economy and the new energy economy.

“We are making a type of battery which is based on iron and air. It means that we’re moving a lot of iron in and very heavy things out. And so you think about sort of the core infrastructure that’s needed to do that – it maps very nicely over the steel infrastructure of the country.”

America is working to build back its industrial capacity with clean energy. Armed with lessons from the past and a lot more government support, companies are planning $70 billion in new factories for electric cars, solar and wind components, and batteries – including very large batteries like the ones that Form is making. 

This week: we talked with Mateo Jaramillo about Form Energy’s transition from an R&D and engineering company to a high-volume manufacturer. Is it a sign of what’s to come for the US industrial base?

This podcast is brought to you by KORE Power, an American manufacturer of battery cells for electric vehicles and stationary storage. Stay tuned to the end of the episode for a conversation with KORE CEO Lindsay Gorrill about how America can slash its dependence on imported critical minerals and batteries.

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