Governor Polis and the Global Business Development Division of the Colorado Office of Economic Development and International Trade (OEDIT) announced today that Meyer Burger, an industrial manufacturer of solar cells and solar modules headquartered in Switzerland, has selected Colorado Springs, Colorado for expansion.
“Colorado’s strong economy and business-friendly environment continues to attract companies to move and grow here, and we are thrilled Meyer Burger has selected Colorado Springs for their expansion. Their expansion will create more than 350 new good-paying jobs in our state and further position Colorado as a leader in the cleantech industry,” said Governor Polis.
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, directly employing 62,000 people. The state is fourth in the nation for its concentration of cleantech employment.
Utilizing benefits from the federal Inflation Reduction Act, Meyer Burger will establish a high-performance solar cell manufacturing facility in Colorado Springs with an initial capacity of two gigawatts of solar cells per year to supply its solar module production facility in Arizona. The availability of an existing facility, access to talent and the state’s commitment to renewable energy all factored into the company’s decision, along with the strong local supply chain. More than 80% of the purchasing volume for the company’s German production plant came from local suppliers, and a similar commitment will be in place in Colorado Springs.
“Our presence in the U.S. will enable us to reach existing and future customers more quickly. 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,” said Gunter Erfurt, Meyer Burger CEO. “Meyer Burger is currently working on additional multi-gigawatt offtake agreements in the U.S. with new customers. We are already exploring opportunities to add further solar cell and module production capacity in the country.”
Production at the Colorado Springs manufacturing plant is planned to begin during the second half of 2024 and Meyer Burger expects to create more than 350 new jobs at an average annual wage of $77,842, which is 129.4% of the average annual wage in El Paso County. The positions will include project managers, operators, facility managers, process engineers, and maintenance personnel.
“Colorado has made a bold commitment to 100% renewable energy by 2040 and cleantech companies are taking note. Meyer Burger joins a growing number of companies choosing our state for the collaborative cleantech ecosystem and we are thrilled to welcome them to Colorado Springs,” said OEDIT Executive Director Eve Lieberman.
“Colorado’s cleantech industry is globally competitive and we see that when companies like Meyer Burger choose our state for expansion,” said Michelle Hadwiger, OEDIT’s Director of Global Business Development. “Colorado ranks in the top ten states for energy production, and since 2010, renewable electricity generation has more than quadrupled to account for 37% of the state’s electricity generation in 2022. Meyer Burger will help continue Colorado’s legacy as a top energy producer and do so with renewable sources.”
Recognizing that Meyer Burger will create new, high-wage jobs and support Colorado’s transition to clean energy, the Colorado Economic Development Commission approved up to $4,944,960 in performance-based Job Growth Incentive Tax Credits for the company over an 8-year period. These incentives are contingent upon Meyer Burger, referred to as Project Blanc throughout the OEDIT review process, meeting net new job creation and salary requirements.
The Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC, as well as a wide array of local development organizations, utilities, and municipal institutions, are also putting together a local incentive package projected to surpass $84 million. Pending final approval, this package will include funding from El Paso County, Colorado Springs Utilities, the City of Colorado Springs, and the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation Deal Closing Fund, among other sources.
“Meyer Burger’s technologies are found in most solar modules produced worldwide, and their decision to locate in Colorado Springs adds to our growing advanced manufacturing sector. 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. The Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation is proud to lead this project and support clean, renewable energy while creating good-paying American jobs,” said Johnna Reeder Kleymeyer, president & CEO of the Colorado Springs Chamber & Economic Development Corporation.
In addition to Colorado, Meyer Burger also considered New York, Indiana, and Arizona for expansion. The company currently has 1,400 employees, none of whom are in Colorado. It is the second international solar company to choose Colorado for expansion in recent weeks.
Credit: Colorado Springs Chamber & EDC