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New Mexico’s deal with Maxeon ranked among the top deals in North America

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(The Center Square) – Site Selection magazine recently featured New Mexico’s agreement with Maxeon Solar Technologies to construct a solar cell manufacturing plant in Albuquerque on its 2023 Top Deals in North America list.

The list released last week put the $1 billion Maxeon project in Mesa del Sol at 17th among the top deals in 2023, according to the New Mexico Economic Development Department.

“New Mexico’s deal with Netflix was honored by Site Selection in 2021, and now, with Maxeon, the state has a strong track record of recruiting global companies that will have a significant economic impact and help New Mexico families attain higher-paying jobs and economic security,” Acting Economic Development Cabinet Secretary Mark Roper said in the release.

In June 2023, New Mexico Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham said the agreement with Maxeon would create up to 1,800 jobs.

Once finished, Maxeon’s 1.9-million-square-foot campus in Albuquerque will be its first U.S. manufacturing expansion.

“The new world-class, 3-gigawatt facility is designed to produce the latest-generation silicon cell technology, serving both the Utility Scale Power Plant market and Distributed Generation rooftop applications,” the release said.

Maxeon’s 160-acre plant and planned capacity would be about double the size of the second-biggest silicon solar manufacturing facility currently operating in the United States.

The site would include solar cell fabrication, panel assembly, a warehouse, and administrative offices.

Maxeon currently has plants in Mexico, Malaysia, and the Philippines.

Recently, Maxeon hired an Albuquerque-based project manager to oversee the facility’s construction.

“Site surveys and geotechnical evaluation have been completed, and the construction air permit has been issued,” the release said. Further construction is pending approvals with the City of Albuquerque on water and wastewater treatment and the closing of financing.”

Additionally, Maxeon submitted a funding application for the project under the U.S. Department of Energy’s (“DOE”) Title 17 Clean Energy Financing Program; that application is currently under diligence review. Similarly, Maxeon also successfully finished the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) review related to this application.

Maxeon will benefit from many tax credits and credits once the project comes to fruition. Some of those benefits include, “a job-creation award from New Mexico’s LEDA closing fund, state manufacturing tax credits, credits for high-wage job creation, property tax relief stemming from Bernalillo County Industrial Revenue Bonds, and a new Advanced Energy Tax Credit, signed into law by Gov. Lujan Grisham in March 2024,” the release said.

Maxeon will get $20 million in LEDA funding, plus 2.08% of the Gross Receipts Tax on construction costs of the project (0.913% from New Mexico, 0.797% from Albuquerque, and 0.375% from Bernalillo County), according to documents NMEDD provided The Center Square. Maxeon will also receive a $2.4 billion industrial revenue bond from the state. However, other incentives in the deal depend on how much equipment the company buys and how many employees it hires, so the final calculations remain unknown.

“This project highlights how New Mexico’s investments in clean energy and manufacturing have built an ideal business environment for companies like Maxeon,” New Mexico Partnership President & CEO Melinda Allen said in the release. “It’s also a great example of how our government and industry stakeholders can mobilize quickly and effectively to meet the needs of a large-scale project.”

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