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New Fox Valley manufacturing facility will focus on renewable energy

Excellerate, Faith Technologies break ground on Little Chute facility

Officials from Excellerate participate in a groundbreaking ceremony.
Officials from Excellerate, a division of the Menasha-based Faith Technologies Inc., participate in a groundbreaking ceremony for the company’s new Little Chute facility on Nov. 14, 2022. Photo Courtesy of Faith Technologies Inc.

A technology company is expanding its footprint in the Fox Valley by building a new 385,000-square-foot facility with a focus on renewable energy.

Excellerate, a division of the Menasha-based Faith Technologies Inc., recently broke ground on a new manufacturing facility in Little Chute.

The project aims to create 200 jobs, ranging from entry-level manufacturing positions to engineers. The facility will also develop renewable energy products to support the growth of electrification in the United States. Another goal of the project is for the new building to be carbon-neutral by utilizing clean energy technology.

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While the Little Chute facility will be Excellerate’s newest, the company also has locations in Milwaukee, Neenah and Appleton. Faith Technologies, which celebrated 50 years in business earlier this year, is a national leader in engineering, construction, manufacturing and clean energy.

Excellerate Executive Vice President Pat McGettigan described his division of Faith Technologies as “industrializing construction work by taking labor off-site” to build components in controlled manufacturing environments.

“With our rich electrical experience, we’re able to meet the demand for rapidly growing industries such as large data centers, renewable energy and industrial projects,” he said. “These industries are poised for tremendous growth and by manufacturing products for them on an Excellerate assembly line instead of in the field, we eliminate many of the supply chain and labor disruptions other companies experience.”

McGettigan said renewable initiatives at the new facility will include the development of small-scale power grids, or microgrids.

“Our energy grid can’t support the amount of electrical vehicles that are gonna come online in the next five to 10 years,” he said. “That’s where the microgrids come into play. Microgrids are something we can use to help support an overall grid.”

Beyond microgrids, the Little Chute facility will also focus on modular builds, e-houses and specialty engineering.

McGettigan said the focus on renewables by the federal government and increased consumer demand for electrification have helped steer the company’s focus on sustainability, as well as its decision to develop the Little Chute facility.

“Our renewable energy team is in Wisconsin, so it made sense to have the facility in Wisconsin be at the forefront of those products, and be able to produce them,” he said. “Because then the teams can be there, they can feel them, they can see them, they can touch them. Then we can continue to continually improve those to help drive that product offering.”

In addition, Faith Technologies has deep roots in the Fox Valley as the company was founded in 1972 and has always been headquartered in Wisconsin, McGettigan said.

“There’s a really strong workforce in that area, (and) a lot of industrial expertise as well, which applies to a lot of things we do,” he said. “That’s why it made real good sense for us to locate in Little Chute.”

Similarly, Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Eric Broten said the company’s decision to expand in the Fox Valley is a testament to the area’s workforce.

“Nowadays, more than ever, businesses are choosing to build facilities where they know they can find workers,” Broten said. “It just goes to show we have strong work ethics here in our labor force, and I’m sure that’s a big reason why they chose to open up here.”

Broten added that having renewable energy products built in the Fox Valley could help accelerate the use of renewable infrastructure in the region.

“The fact that Faith is investing in that right here, hopefully, means that our area and our region are going to be one of the first regions to kind of get built out with that network of charging stations,” he said.

Excellerate hopes to have the Little Chute facility completed in the third quarter of 2023, but McGettigan said the project has been in the works for about three years.

He said the pandemic slowed down Excellerate’s expansion plans, but the demand for renewable energy and the push for the electrification in the U.S. has helped to push the project ahead.

“The timing is perfect,” McGettigan said. “Getting that facility online by the end of the third quarter (of 2023) means that it should be able to hit the ground running. The intent is to come right out of the gates with a significant amount of work.”

Excellerate’s Little Chute development is part of a project led by Solvare, a new capital development business that connects companies with shared values.

In a statement, Solvare Executive Vice President and Managing Director Charlie Fredrickson said Excellerate’s new facility is much more than just a big steel building.

“This will be a smart manufacturing facility, where innovative ideas come together as ground zero for the industrialization of construction and energy transformation,” he said. “This facility will create unprecedented value for those who built it and those who will deliver innovative products out of it.”