SANTA FE, NM (AP) — Singapore-based Maxeon Solar Technologies is planning to build a major solar panel manufacturing plant in Albuquerque pending approval of a loan application from the U.S. Department of Energy, the company made Thursday known.
The plant would employ approximately 1,800 people to provide photovoltaic solar panels for use in residential, commercial and utility scale solar panels.
Maxeon said annual panel production would be capable of generating three gigawatts of electricity — more than any existing silicon solar plant in the US. About six gigawatts of solar panels were installed nationwide in the first three months of 2023, according to the Solar Energy Industries Association.
The proposed solar installation in the southern reaches of Albuquerque would include solar cell fabrication, panel mounting and warehouse facilities, along with administrative offices.
Maxeon Solar was formed in 2020 as a spin-off company from residential solar energy provider SunPower Corp.
Bill Mulligan, CEO of Maxeon, called the proposed plant “an ambitious and concrete response to the need to decarbonise the US economy while creating permanent, highly skilled local manufacturing and engineering jobs.”
The company said it would invest at least $1 billion in construction.
New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham said the plant is an outgrowth of public investment in clean energy infrastructure under the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 and related state programs.