Solar Equipment Manufacturing Plant Announced for New Mexico

January 15, 2008

Governor Bill Richardson has announced that SCHOTT AG, of Germany, will build a solar equipment manufacturing plant at Mesa Del Sol, just south of Albuquerque. The new complex is expected to bring approximately $100 million of foreign investment to New Mexico.

SCHOTT will manufacture solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and receiver tubes for concentrated solar power (CSP) plants at the new facility. The new plant will be one of the company's largest operations in the United States. Construction will begin in early 2008, with the plant slated to begin operation in 2009.

The company expects the facility to provide 350 jobs in the first year and a total of 700 jobs by the fourth year. Approximately 80 percent of the jobs will be production-based; the remaining 20 percent will be engineering and management positions.

Industry analysts project that the market for solar energy will double over the next five years. SCHOTT says it anticipates it will need to increase production as the market grows, and the new plant will be designed to expand both the photovoltaic module and solar receiver production lines. The facility could grow to 800,000 square feet and provide as many as 1,500 jobs at peak production.

SCHOTT says it chose the Mesa del Sol site for a number of reasons, including:

  • New Mexico's renewable portfolio standard, which requires 20 percent of all energy consumed in the state to be generated by renewable sources by 2020. Of that 20 percent, 4 percent must be from solar power.
  • The site is located within major southwest PV and CSP markets.
  • The site is near the U.S. Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratories, which perform solar energy research.

"The future of New Mexico, the country, and the world depends on clean alternative energy," said Economic Development Secretary Fred Mondragon, "and our economy is going to be increasingly dependent on foreign direct investment. What we have with SCHOTT coming to New Mexico is the best of those two worlds."

For more information, see the governor's January 14 press release and the SCHOTT January 14 press release.

To read more about renewable energy and energy efficiency projects in New Mexico, see: