(COLORADO SPRINGS) — Another international business has chosen to call Southern Colorado home and looks to bring hundreds of jobs with it. Meyer Burger, a Switzerland-based company will open a high-performance solar cell manufacturing facility in Colorado Springs in 2024.

“Meyer Burger’s technologies are found in most solar modules produced worldwide, and their decision to land in Colorado Springs adds to our growing advanced manufacturing sector,” said Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer, President and CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation (Chamber and EDC) explained. “The new Colorado Springs footprint will be Meyer Burger’s first site in the Western Hemisphere to manufacture the chips and wafers that power cutting-edge solar technology.”

Utilizing benefits from the federal Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), Meyer Burger will establish a solar cell manufacturing facility off Garden of the Gods Road with an initial capacity of two gigawatts of solar cells per year. The availability of an existing facility, access to talent and the state’s commitment to renewable energy all factored into the company’s decision to call Colorado Springs home.

“Our economy is vibrant, we have a well-educated and eager workforce, and we are a business-friendly city, it is in our DNA,” Mayor Yemi Mobolade explained.

According to Meyer Burger, this will be its first United States manufacturing location and city leaders say it will be instrumental in Colorado’s goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2040.

“When I think about what we’re celebrating, it’s a celebration of higher paying jobs,” Mayor Mobolade said. “It’s a celebration of manufacturing in our city, and it’s a celebration of that movement towards renewable energy sources.”

Production at the Colorado Springs manufacturing plant is planned to start during the second half of 2024. Meyer Burger expects to create more than 350 jobs with an average annual wage of nearly $78,000.

“We cannot be more grateful and the reason why we are in Colorado Springs is because its known as a tech hub,” Gunter Erfurt, Meyer Burger CEO said.

Meyer Burger will exclusively make solar modules.

“Everybody knows the solar module, that’s what you install on your rooftop, but it consists of solar cells which are the little engines of the solar module,” Erfurt explained. “The cells will be produced here in the United States, and we are one of the few factories doing it.”

The Biden administration continues to push its renewable energy plan and sent FOX21 News the following statement in response to Meyer Burgers expansion:

Thanks to President Biden’s climate and economic agenda, America has now become a magnet for massive investment, and a U.S. manufacturing renaissance is underway. [Monday’s] announcement is Bidenomics in action — with 350 new jobs at Meyer Burger’s new factory in Colorado Springs.  This mega factory will produce gigawatts of solar cells stamped “Made in America.” It’s good news for our economy and good news for our climate and energy security.

Ali Zaidi, White House National Climate Advisor

Colorado’s cleantech industry, which includes solar, has a $4.6 billion economic impact each year. Employment in the sector has grown 10% over the last two years and the state is fourth in the nation for its concentration of cleantech employment.

“Friends, let us embrace this new era of clean energy and innovation right here in the heart of Colorado Springs,” Mayor Mobolade said.

Meyer Burger plans to utilize the benefits of the Advanced Manufacturing Tax Credit, part of the IRA, for solar cell and module manufacturing, which corresponds to a cumulated eligible sum of up to $1.4 billion to be monetized from start of production in 2024 until the end of 2032.

“Our presence in the U.S. will enable us to reach existing and future customers more quickly,” Erfurt said. “I would like to sincerely thank our partners in the Biden administration and in Colorado as well as our offtake partners DESRI, Ingka and BayWa for their support in expanding our U.S. activities.”

Erfurt added that Meyer Burger is currently working on additional multi-gigawatt solar cell offtake agreements in the U.S. with new customers.

In addition, Meyer Burger will receive a $90 million financial package from the City of Colorado Springs and the State of Colorado.

The accelerated manufacturing schedule in the U.S. is made possible by redirecting production equipment originally intended for the Thalheim site in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany. This equipment will be installed at the Colorado Springs facility in order to meet the planned completion date for the cell factory in 2024.