Colorado: Battery maker, flight training provider seek incentives

An undisclosed maker of silicon anodes for use in lithium-ion batteries received approval for up to $5.49 million in state job growth incentive tax credits from the Colorado Economic Development Commission on Thursday morning.

Project Maverick, the code name used by the company, is considering a site in Texas or Brighton for a manufacturing plant to produce silicon anodes. The company has developed a proprietary process to grow 3D structures of silicon, considered one of the more promising breakthrough materials to improve the performance of lithium-ion batteries.

Using silicon can extend the range of the batteries, allow them to handle lower temperatures better, reduce the risk of fires and speed up recharging times.

The Brighton plant would create 332 new jobs at an average annual wage of $68,516, which is 104% of the average annual wage in Adams County. Managers, engineers, technicians, operators, and business support personnel are among the positions that will be created. The company currently has 59 employees, none currently in Colorado.

Meredith O’Connor, an executive with real estate brokerage JLL, told the commission that her client had been zeroing in on a location in another state when the Colorado site became available.

“We are hopeful they will find a home in Brighton,” she said.

Project Spectra, an unnamed aviation company, received approval for up to $3.79 million in job growth incentive tax credits in return for the creation of 240 net new jobs at a new flight training center in Denver. The jobs would pay an average annual wage of $186,500 or 208% of the average annual wage of Denver County. Positions include flight instructors, evaluators, stimulator technicians and engineers and maintenance supervisors.

The airline in question is also considering locating flight training jobs in Goodyear, Ariz. It has 80,000 employees, including 11,000 in Colorado. That matches the headcount of United Airlines, which maintains flight training centers in both Denver and Goodyear.

The third award granted Thursday went to an aerospace and engineering company from Huntsville, Ala. Project Beacon received approval for $1.35 million in job growth incentive tax credits tied to the creation of 71 net new jobs in El Paso County to work with the U.S. Space Command. The new positions would pay an average annual wage of $115,049, which is 191% of the average annual wage in El Paso County.

Several types of engineering roles would be offered including senior software, senior cybersecurity, modeling, and simulation, as well as program managers and controllers. The company currently has 555 employees, including three based in Colorado.

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