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Timeline slips for huge Albuquerque solar project

The new plant is planned to serve both the utility scale power plant market and rooftop applications
Hand-out/Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd.
Maxeon Solar Technologies, Ltd.
The new plant is planned to serve both the utility scale power plant market and rooftop applications

In August last year, Maxeon announced that it had chosen Albuquerque for its first U.S. manufacturing plant, which would be the largest silicon solar manufacturing facility in the country.

At the time, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham credited the choice of New Mexico with state programs and solar subsidies in the federal Inflation Reduction Act.

Maxeon's CEO Bill Mulligan said that the company chose New Mexico in part because of its welcoming business climate. The City of Albuquerque and the state have agreed to tax incentives and millions in local development funding for the company. The Economic Development Department stated that it expected the project to bring $4.2 billion to the state.

Last year, the company said it expected to begin construction in the first quarter of 2024, with factory ramp-up to commence in 2025. However, in its press release at the time, the company said the project is subject to a successful financial close under the U.S. Department of Energy's Title 17 Clean Energy Financing Program. This has not yet been finalized.

The Economic Development Department announced on May 1 that Site Selection magazine named the state's agreement with Maxeon as one of the 2023 Top Deals in North America.

A spokesperson for the company said Maxeon continues to make progress on the site in the Mesa del Sol neighborhood. They said that surveys, geotechnical investigation, permit reviews and a construction air permit had been completed, and that pending the closing of financing the company plans to break ground in the second half of 2024.

Bryce Dix contributed reporting

Alice Fordham joined the news team in 2022 after a career as an international correspondent, reporting for NPR from the Middle East and later Latin America and Europe. She also worked as a podcast producer for The Economist among other outlets, and tries to meld a love of sound and storytelling with solid reporting on the community. She grew up in the U.K. and has a small jar of Marmite in her kitchen for emergencies.
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