Maxeon plans solar cell, module manufacturing in New Mexico

New Mexico

Maxeon Solar Technologies selected Albuquerque, N.M., for its first U.S. manufacturing location. This planned 3 GW facility will be pumping out TOPCon silicon cells and Maxeon’s proprietary shingled-cell Performance Line solar modules. Total investment is expected to top $1 billion.

The Maxeon plant is expected to be the first large-scale PV cell and panel manufacturing in New Mexico and will serve utility scale and distributed generation rooftop applications. That 3 GW capacity is notable — approximately double the size of the largest silicon solar manufacturing facility currently operating in the U.S.

“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,” said Bill Mulligan, Maxeon CEO.

Current status | 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.

Timeline | 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.

More to come? 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.

“We expect the new plant will also serve as an anchor to attract further regional investment in the solar supply chain,” Mulligan says. “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.”

Global footprint | The New Mexico facility expands Maxeon’s global manufacturing footprint, which currently includes plants in Mexico, Malaysia and the Philippines.

Maxeon is known for its high efficiency interdigitated back contact (IBC) solar panels. In the U.S. residential space, Maxeon solar panels are exclusive to SunPower, which extended its supply relationship with Maxeon Solar Technologies through 2025 earlier this year. In C&I, Maxeon panels are available via distributors such as Greentech.

“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.”

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