The recent announcement that the Singapore-based solar plant, Maxeon Solar Technologies, is coming to Albuquerque sounds great at first, but leaves many questions and concerns unanswered. The state’s history with large companies coming to New Mexico, only to take our money and leave, cast doubts on the solar plant’s NM expansion. The closure in 2012 of Schott Solar, also in Albuquerque, is a huge source of doubt. The company opened in 2010 and planned to employee 1,500 New Mexicans and bring in state revenue, but the opposite happened. By their closure, they employed 200 people, took the state’s $16 million, then left the state. After 11 years, we’ve only gotten $1.8 million of our tax dollars back, leaving the state with a total deficit of $14.2 million. Read that story from 2012 HERE.
Fast forward to 2023 and we find ourselves in a similar situation with, Maxeon Solar Technologies. The company wasn’t originally going to do business in New Mexico at all, primarily due to our lack of economic opportunities. Their minds changed very quickly, when some state lawmakers used our tax dollars to bring them to our state. With a 97% greater financial investment than what was given to Schott Solar- a total of $600 million tax dollars- Albuquerque was chosen to be the company’s first U.S. plant (pictured below).
If the plant does come to fruition, this could provide more jobs for New Mexicans and bring in more state revenue, to fund other areas of our state that could use improvements. If this becomes another ‘Schott Solar situation,’ massive amounts of our tax dollars will be lost and it will prove that some lawmakers in Santa Fe are desperate for any business to come to New Mexico, even if it means bribing them with our money. You can read more HERE.