Area Development
Germany-based SCHOTT Solar, Inc. will construct a new solar energy technology production facility in the Mesa del Sol area of Albuquerque, New Mexico. SCHOTT will invest approximately US$100 million to construct a new 200,000-square-foot facility, with at least 350 new jobs created. Initially, the production site will manufacture receivers for concentrated solar thermal power plants and 64 megawatts of photovoltaic modules. Long-term plans call for a potential US$500 million investment, with expansion of the facility to 800,000 square feet and the hiring of 1,500 employees. "SCHOTT Solar is not only investing in New Mexico, but in the energy independence of the United States," says Mark Finocchario, SCHOTT's president and CEO. The company estimates that just seven states in the U.S. Southwest could produce more than 7 million megawatts of solar generating capacity, which is roughly 10 times the total U.S. generating capacity from all sources today. Company officials cite New Mexico's skilled labor, advanced infrastructure, and commitment to alternative energy as key factors in the location decision.