- Maxeon Solar Technologies will build a $1 billion, three-gigawatt solar panel factory in Albuquerque, New Mexico, the company announced Thursday.
- The plant will be the Singapore-based manufacturer's first production facility in the U.S., and it will create 1,800 jobs.
- The company plans to produce utility-scale and rooftop panels meant for residential and commercial use. Construction on the 160-acre site is expected to begin in Q1 2024, with production slated for 2025.
Maxeon plans to bring the first large-scale solar panel and cell factory to New Mexico, adding to the company's manufacturing footprint across Mexico, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Like many foreign manufacturers that have announced U.S. facilities in the past year, Maxeon executives credited the Inflation Reduction Act with enticing them to invest in the country.
“The Inflation Reduction Act has catalyzed a new chapter in America's energy transition. Our new solar cell and panel facility in New Mexico is an ambitious and concrete response to the need to decarbonize the U.S. economy while creating permanent highly-skilled local manufacturing and engineering jobs,” Maxeon CEO Bill Mulligan said in a statement. “We expect the new plant will also serve as an anchor to attract further regional investment in the solar supply chain.”
New Mexico expects the project to bring $4.2 billion to the state over the next 10 years.
The project is one of several manufacturing projects valued at more than $1 billion that have been announced in New Mexico in the past two years. In May 2021, Intel announced plans to invest $3.5 billion to expand its manufacturing site in Rio Rancho, and the Ball Corp. and Manna Capital Partners unveiled plans in May 2022 for a $2 billion in an aluminum can sheet rolling mill and recycling plant in Los Lunas.
Maxeon is building its new plant as it experiences major growth. The company's Q2 revenue grew 46% YoY, which Mulligan attributed to increasing exposure to the U.S. utility-scale sector during a Thursday earnings call.
"Due to strong customer demand and the anticipated availability of sufficient infrastructure at the New Mexico site, we are evaluating the option of upsizing the scale of our U.S. factory by approximately 50% to a nameplate capacity of 4.5 gigawatts," the CEO told investors.
Maxeon is now applying for a loan for the project from the Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Financing Program, which supports deployment and infrastructure initiatives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.The company did not disclose the size of the loan but noted that site selection is a key step in the application process.