August 15, 2023

Report: NM is one of 39 states with Inflation Reduction Act-funded clean energy projects

Hannah Grover

Arcosa CEO Antonio Carrillo speaks during a visit President Joe Biden made to the company's wind tower manufacturing center in Belen.

Since the Inflation Reduction Act became law on Aug. 16, 2022, private industries across the country have announced 210 clean energy projects, according to a new report released Monday by the group E2.

Should all these projects come to completion, it would represent a total of $86.3 billion in private investments and would create more than 74,000 jobs. 

These 210 projects are being built in 39 states, including New Mexico.

“It’s only been a year since the IRA was signed into law, and we’re already seeing the biggest economic boom in America in generations,” E2 executive director Bob Keefe said in a press release. “We are re-energizing communities left behind by previous economic transitions and creating more jobs and attracting more investments than anyone expected.”

Keefe admonished conservative politicians who decried the Inflation Reduction Act and have attempted to roll back some of its investments. 

“The only thing that can stop this clean economy revolution is us,” he said.

He cautioned that members of Congress who have tried to roll back the Inflation Reduction Act  “should remember the jobs, investments and opportunities being created in their own backyards before trying to kill the game-changing policy that’s making it all possible.”

Three of the projects are located in New Mexico, including the Arcosa wind turbine manufacturing center in the Belen area where President Joe Biden visited last week. Those projects also include the largest solar cell and panel manufacturing center in the country, which is coming to the Mesa del Sol area of Albuquerque. This manufacturing center, owned by Singapore-based company Maxeon, was publicly announced last week. The third project, which was announced in March, is a manufacturing center in Albuquerque that will produce cables that electric utilities can use for grid resiliency efforts.

The largest of the projects in New Mexico is the Maxeon solar cell and panel manufacturing center, which represents a $1 billion investment and will create 1,800 jobs.

The $40 million cable manufacturing center, owned by ABB Ltd, will create 55 new jobs. 

The Arcosa wind turbine manufacturing plant that the president visited represents a $55 million investment and will create 250 jobs.

The report released on Monday further notes which congressional district where each of the projects will be located. 

The majority of the projects—121 in total—are located within congressional districts represented by Republicans.

According to the report, the congressional districts that are receiving the most investment as a result of the Inflation Reduction Act are North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District, Georgia’s 11th Congressional District and Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District. All three of those districts are represented by Republicans.

The state with the most projects announced is Georgia, where 19 projects are underway following the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

In the report, E2 states that the “more than 200 announcements would represent a sizable increase in annual employment growth in clean energy and is indicative of a coming wave of job gains on the horizon unequaled in the history of the clean energy sector.”

The more than 200 projects also include a dozen hydrogen projects. Hydrogen energy has been controversial because it often relies on fossil fuel-based methane.