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100 more advanced manufacturing jobs

Dear Friend,

The first towers manufactured at the Arcosa Wind Towers facility in Belén, Array Technologies’ new 216,000-square-foot manufacturing campus on Albuquerque’s Westside, a major expansion of Intel’s facility in Rio Rancho, and now this…

Albuquerque-based SolAero will receive up to $23.9 million in direct federal funding under our CHIPS and Science Act to increase its production of semiconductors for spacecraft and satellites. This investment will create over 100 new manufacturing jobs that New Mexicans can build their families around. 

I was proud to sit on the conference committee that negotiated the final CHIPS and Science Act in 2022, but that doesn’t even compare to how proud I am to see these funds creating jobs in New Mexico.

You can read more coverage on this exciting investment in the Albuquerque Journal story below.


PHOTO: U.S. Senator Martin Heinrich tours the manufacturing facility of SolAero Technologies in Albuquerque, N.M., October 23, 2018.

For years now, I’ve been proud to bolster New Mexico’s bases, defense research labs, and private industry partners so we can keep excelling in emerging defense fields. 

Back in 2018, as a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, I secured an amendment in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act that encouraged the Air Force to explore modular arrays, like the ones manufactured by SolAero, that combine separate power subsystems in order to accelerate small satellite deployment. 

Having served on the conference committee of Senate and House members that finalized what eventually became the CHIPS and Science Act, it is particularly exciting to see how our legislation is lowering costs, boosting domestic semiconductor manufacturing, strengthening domestic supply chains, and preserving American competitiveness in the 21st century. That’s included a major announcement of historic federal funding of up to $8.5 billion to expand American semiconductor manufacturing, including at the Intel facility in Rio Rancho. 

This latest CHIPS investment will further solidify New Mexico’s role as a leader in advanced manufacturing. And it’s just the most recent down payment to maintain our state’s longtime leadership in national security and innovation. 

Our future has never looked brighter. 


United States Senator

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Semiconductor maker SolAero's expansion in Albuquerque to add 100 jobs

By Ryan Boetel / Journal Business Editor

Semiconductors for spacecraft and satellites will be made in Albuquerque as part of a local company’s expansion plans.

SolAero by Rocket Lab, an Albuquerque-based manufacturing company, will expand its operations in Albuquerque using funding under the CHIPS and Science Act.

The U.S. Department of Commerce is giving SolAero nearly $24 million to create more than 100 direct manufacturing jobs in Albuquerque.

“For years now, I’ve been proud to bolster New Mexico’s bases, defense research labs and private industry partners so we can keep excelling in emerging defense fields. That includes supporting the growth of SolAero — a homegrown New Mexico defense technology company that has become an industry leader in manufacturing solar cells for space-based defense systems and commercial satellites,” Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-N.M., said in a statement. “This exciting investment is just the latest down payment to maintain New Mexico’s longtime leadership in national security and innovation.”

SolAero is one of just two U.S. companies that specializes in the production of efficient and radiation-resistant semiconductors. The company’s solar cells have been used on the James Webb Space Telescope, NASA’s Artemis lunar explorations, Ingenuity Mars Helicopter and the Mars Insight Lander.

“Thanks to the CHIPS and Science Act, more than 100 new manufacturing jobs will be created and New Mexico will continue leading the way in technological manufacturing. The future is bright,” Rep. Melanie Stansbury, D-N.M., said in a statement.

The CHIPS Act aims to increase American manufacturing jobs and shore up supply chains.