NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee lawmakers have committed to spending nearly $900 million as part of a sweeping plan with Ford Motor Co. to build an electric vehicle and battery plant near Memphis.
It took the Republican-led General Assembly just three days to sign off on the economic package after Gov. Bill Lee called them back to the Capitol for a special legislative session. Fewer than 10 lawmakers voted against or abstained from voting on the Ford bills.
Ford and South Korean battery maker SK Innovation announced the Blue Oval City project last month, saying they would spend $5.6 billion to build a factory at the Memphis Regional Megasite industrial complex to produce electric F-Series pickups.
Gov. Bill Lee said Monday Tennessee offered $500 million in incentives to help secure the project, which is expected to create about 5,800 new jobs.
From the Tennessee Governor's Office Monday:
Investments to Strengthen Workforce and Infrastructure for Generations
SB 8002/HB 8002 will address the approval of appropriations to incentivize and complete the Megasite. Additional funding will provide for infrastructure and improvements to support regional growth including:
- $500 million capital grant (ECD)
- State to build, own and operate $40 million TCAT to strengthen Tennessee’s workforce (TBR)
- State to build, own and operate water and wastewater systems to serve the Megasite (DGS)
- State to build second interchange on I-40 to improve traffic flow and support population growth (TDOT)
SB 8001/HB 8001 will create the Megasite Authority of West Tennessee to provide the services necessary for the operation and development of the Megasite. Key highlights of the development of the Authority include:
- The Authority will be established and administratively attached to the Department of General Services
- Purpose of the Authority is to develop, operate, manage, incentivize and promote the Megasite
- The Authority will be governed by a seven-member board of directors