Maxeon Solar Technologies, a global leader in solar innovation and channels, has announced that it will open a more than $1 billion solar cell and panel manufacturing center in Albuquerque, New Mexico1. The project is expected to create up to 1,800 jobs and bring $4.2 billion to the state over the next 10 years2.
The Singapore-based company’s planned 1.9 million-square-foot complex will be the first commercial-scale solar cell manufacturer in the country and will produce TOPCon PV-silicon cell technology and Maxeon’s shingled-cell Performance Line solar modules1. The new factory will supply both the utility-scale and rooftop solar markets3.
The project is supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Title 17 Clean Energy Financing Program, which provides loan guarantees for innovative energy projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions4. The project is also eligible for state and local incentives, such as the Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) fund, the Job Training Incentive Program (JTIP), and industrial revenue bonds (IRBs)2.
A boost for New Mexico’s economy and environment
Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham welcomed the announcement and praised Maxeon’s decision to choose New Mexico as the location for its first U.S. manufacturing expansion. She said, “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.”2
New Mexico has been pursuing a green agenda under Governor Lujan Grisham, who signed the Energy Transition Act in 2019, which mandates that 100% of the state’s electricity come from carbon-free sources by 2045. The state also joined the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of states committed to upholding the Paris Agreement on climate change.
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 factory currently operating in the U.S.2. The plant will also use advanced technologies that reduce water consumption and waste generation1.
A milestone for Maxeon’s global expansion
Maxeon Solar Technologies is a spin-off from SunPower Corporation, a leading U.S. solar company that has been operating for more than 35 years. Maxeon was formed in 2020 after SunPower divested its international operations and manufacturing assets to focus on its domestic market.
Maxeon has since expanded its global presence and product portfolio, with operations in more than 100 countries and regions. The company offers a range of high-efficiency solar solutions, including its flagship Maxeon line of premium solar panels, which feature interdigitated back contact (IBC) cells that deliver superior performance and durability.
The company also recently launched its Performance Line of shingled-cell solar modules, which use TOPCon technology to achieve higher efficiency and lower cost than conventional silicon cells. The Performance Line modules are designed for large-scale installations, such as utility-scale power plants and commercial rooftops.
The new factory in New Mexico will enable Maxeon to increase its production capacity and meet the growing demand for solar energy in the U.S., which is expected to more than double by 2025. The factory will also help Maxeon diversify its supply chain and reduce its reliance on overseas sources amid trade tensions and supply disruptions.
Bill Mulligan, Maxeon CEO, said, “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.”2