Maxeon Solar Technologies Selects Albuquerque, New Mexico as Site for New 3-Gigawatt Solar Cell and Panel Manufacturing Facility
60-acre site selected to host > manufacturing investment
Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd, in solar innovation and channels, today announced it has chosen Albuquerque, New Mexico, as the location for its first U.S. manufacturing expansion. The new world-class, 3-gigawatt facility will be designed to produce latest-generation TOPCon PV-silicon cell technology and the Company's proprietary shingled-cell Performance Line solar modules to meet rapidly growing demand for domestically produced solar panels. The new plant is planned to serve both the Utility Scale Power Plant market and Distributed Generation rooftop applications. The total investment of the project is expected to be over $1 billion, and is subject to a successful financial close under the U.S. Department of Energy's ("DOE") Title 17 Clean Energy Financing Program. Maxeon is currently in the due diligence stage of its loan application and site selection is an important milestone in completing this process with DOE's Loan Programs Office. DOE's invitation into the due diligence and term sheet negotiation process is not an assurance that DOE will issue a loan guarantee, nor that the terms and conditions of a loan guarantee will align with terms proposed by the applicant.
"Thanks to the support of the Biden administration, the U.S. is now poised to re-shore and scale up a domestic solar supply chain. This will enhance national energy security and create a new cadre of well-paying manufacturing jobs. Maxeon is well positioned to play a significant role in this process by virtue of our proven experience in deploying and operating world-class solar cell and panel technology. We see tremendous opportunity to help the country advance its clean energy agenda while generating strong local economic impact," said Bill Mulligan, Maxeon CEO.
The Maxeon plant is expected to be the first large-scale PV cell and panel manufacturing in New Mexico, and its planned capacity is approximately double the size of the largest silicon solar manufacturing facility currently operating in the U.S. Maxeon expects to begin construction in the first quarter of 2024, with factory ramp-up to commence in 2025. Maxeon has selected a 160-acre site located in the community of Mesa Del Sol, and is designing the complex to include solar cell fabrication, panel assembly, a warehouse, and administrative offices. Once complete, Maxeon estimates the new facility will create up to 1,800 jobs, including highly skilled manufacturing and engineering jobs, and produce millions of solar panels each year for the U.S. market. The New Mexico facility expands Maxeon's global manufacturing footprint, which currently includes plants in Mexico, Malaysia and the Philippines.
Due to strong customer demand and the planned availability of sufficient infrastructure at the Mesa Del Sol site, Maxeon is currently evaluating plans to upsize the scale of its U.S. manufacturing operation by approximately 50% to a nameplate capacity of 4.5 GW. A final decision regarding plant capacity is expected later this year.
"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," Mulligan added. "We expect the new plant will also serve as an anchor to attract further regional investment in the solar supply chain. As a company that started in Silicon Valley 38 years ago, we are proud to be bringing U.S.-developed technologies back home and to contribute to the reshoring of a domestic solar supply chain."
"I am proud to welcome Maxeon Solar Technologies' first US-based manufacturing facility to New Mexico," said Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham. "This private investment shows how our state programs, paired with President Biden's Inflation Reduction Act, have charted a path for New Mexico as a leader in growing the clean energy economy and creating a strong workforce for the future."
"Albuquerque is at the forefront of the movement to bring manufacturing back home because of our unique location, affordability, and skilled workforce," said Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. "Bringing good paying jobs in clean energy will help foster new opportunities for families in New Mexico and create a more sustainable future for America."
"I fought hard to pass the Inflation Reduction Act last year because I knew it could be transformative for New Mexico's families and the health of our climate. Maxeon's new factory is proof that the Act is working as intended," said Senator Martin Heinrich. "Maxeon's facility will be the second major clean energy manufacturing facility to open in New Mexico since President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act. Together, we're unleashing our clean energy potential and creating hundreds of high-quality jobs for New Mexicans. The best part: We're only just getting started."