ALBUQUERQUE—Singapore-based Maxeon Solar Technologies Ltd. is investing more than $1 billion to build a new 3-gigawatt (GW) solar panel assembly plant here, its first expansion into the United States.

The facility will produce the latest-generation TOPCon PV-silicon cell technology and Maxeon’s proprietary shingled-cell performance line of solar modules to meet rapidly growing demand for domestically produced solar panels.

With the plant, Maxeon said it is targeting the utility-scale power plant market and distributed generation rooftop applications. The plant is expected to be the first large-scale photovoltaic cell and panel manufacturing in New Mexico, and its planned capacity is approximately double the size of the largest silicon solar manufacturing facility currently operating in the U.S., according to Maxeon.

The company expects to begin construction in the first quarter of 2024, with factory ramp-up to begin in 2025.

"Thanks to the support of the Biden administration, the U.S. is now poised to reshore and scale up a domestic solar supply chain,” says Maxeon CEO Bill Mulligan. “This will enhance national energy security and create a new cadre of well-paying manufacturing jobs.”

Maxeon is evaluating plans to increase the scale of its U.S. manufacturing operation by approximately 50 percent to a nameplate capacity of 4.5 GW.

“The Inflation Reduction Act has catalyzed 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 adds.