Maxeon Solar to build 3 GW cell and module plant in Albuquerque

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Maxeon Solar Technologies has chosen Albuquerque, New Mexico, as the location for its first U.S. manufacturing expansion. The new 3 GW facility will produce TOPCon PV-silicon cell technology and the Maxeon’s proprietary shingled-cell Performance Line solar modules.

The company said the facility will produce millions of solar modules each year for the growing utility-scale and distributed-generation markets in the U.S.

“I am proud to welcome Maxeon Solar Technologies’ first U.S.-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.”

Total investment of the project is expected to be over $1 billion, Maxeon reports, 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.

“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,” said Bill Mulligan, Maxeon CEO.  “We see tremendous opportunity to help the country advance its clean energy agenda while generating strong local economic impact.”

Maxeon selected a 160-acre site located in the community of Mesa Del Sol, and it will include solar cell fabrication, panel assembly, a warehouse, and administrative offices. Maxeon reports that its new plant is expected to be the first large-scale cell and module manufacturing in New Mexico. While 3 GW is the planned capacity, the company said there’s a chance it will increase it to 4.5 GW in the future.

Maxeon expects to begin construction in the first quarter of 2024, with factory ramp-up to commence in 2025. The company currently has manufacturing facilities in Mexico, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Once complete, Maxeon estimates the Albuquerque 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

“The Inflation Reduction Act has catalysed 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. We are proud to be bringing U.S.-developed technologies back home and to contribute to the reshoring of a domestic solar supply chain.”

The company’s Performance line of solar modules leverage Maxeon’s shingled cell technology, originally developed by SunPower. The technology is protected by 83 granted patents. The 425 W modules use bifacial mono-PERC solar cells made on large-format eight-inch G12 wafers, and have an efficiency of 20.6%, according to Maxeon.

Maxeon was spun off from SunPower in 2020, when both became separate entities. TotalEnergies owns a minority interest in Maxeon. The company is based in Singapore but lists shares on the NASDAQ Capital Markets exchange, where it currently trades at $23.13 per share today, The company has approximately 5,000 employees worldwide, based in Mexico (39%), Malaysia (33%) and the Philippines (20%)..

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