The State of New Mexico has pledged economic assistance to WTEC Energy Corp. to redevelop an empty facility in rural Doña Ana County and create 315 manufacturing jobs in New Mexico, Economic Development Department (EDD) Cabinet Secretary Alicia J. Keyes announced today.
The New Jersey-based Wind Turbine & Energy Cables Corp. (WTEC Energy) manufactures an innovative and resilient wire cable that powers both solar and wind energy units. The soon-to-be refurbished facility in the federally designated Colonia of Chamberino, located at 1311 San Francisco De Asis, is WTEC’s first expansion in New Mexico. The former Alpo pet food processing plant will now be used for steel-wire manufacturing and eventually expand to produce wind towers, the spine of the wind-energy turbine.
The company chose New Mexico over Texas because of the collaborative business climate, incentives, and the proximity to the fast-growing wind and solar installations in the Western United States.
Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham has identified sustainable energy as a target industry sector to diversify New Mexico’s economy, create better jobs, and meet our climate goals.
“We have said all along that these policies will pay off – creating real jobs for real New Mexicans,” Gov. Lujan Grisham said. “WTEC is coming to Southern New Mexico, along with 315 new jobs, because of our commitment to supporting manufacturing businesses that help us diversify the economy and boost energy innovation and transition.”
The State of New Mexico is pledging $2 million from its Local Economic Development Act (LEDA) job-creation fund to assist WTEC with land, building, and infrastructure improvements as it expands manufacturing to the state. The 68,000-square-foot Doña Ana County location is the former home to an Alpo pet food processing plant that closed in 2014 and has been underutilized for many years.
“This investment will bring new life to this facility and to a rural community in Southern New Mexico. We are committed to growing jobs in all parts of the state so families can achieve economic security and prosper,” EDD Secretary Keyes said. “The state LEDA assistance will not only support these jobs, but it also helps hundreds of others in the wind and solar energy industries as we invest in these higher-paying and exciting new industries.”
“WTEC’s new facility in Doña Ana County shows that New Mexico’s wind energy expansion is creating positive economic opportunities across the state,” Energy, Minerals and Natural Resources Department Cabinet Secretary Sarah Cottrell Propst said. “I applaud EDD’s good work in attracting another renewable energy supply chain company to New Mexico.”
The company expects to begin hiring in early 2022 with a ramp up to 315 full-time employees by the end of 2027. The average salary is expected to be over $37,000 and the project will have a statewide economic impact of $409 million over 10 years.
“When WTEC started looking for a new location we wanted to be in the West, closer to our customers and key raw material vendors. When evaluating the pros and cons of Texas vs. New Mexico, the incentives offered by New Mexico and our close relationship with the Economic Development Department and MVEDA tipped the scale,” WTEC CEO Brian Singh said. “At this property in Doña Ana County we have an existing building with room to expand. We see a lot of growth in the wind and solar sectors and this positions us well to grow our manufacturing capacity and improve our competitive position in the market.”
Doña Ana County is the fiscal agent for the project and will award the LEDA assistance as the company meets its economic development benchmarks.
"WTEC Corp’s expansion into Doña Ana County supports our efforts to grow new employment opportunities and promote economic development. We are excited about the prospect of creating over 300 jobs and a large $20 plus million-dollar investment in a Colonia that will benefit the community and diversify the base of employment in Chamberino. Their use of the former Alpo building is a way to repurpose an old facility and provides a location that will serve as a base for their operations,” Doña Ana County Board of County Commissioners Chair Manuel Sanchez said. “This project presents an opportunity for investment and economic development in a more rural part of the county."
WTEC is a private company founded by Brian Singh, president and CEO, who designed an innovative and more stable wire cable for GE turbines. Singh has more than 35 years of experience in the wind industry, cable manufacturing, and product development. Prior to forming WTEC Energy in 2002, Singh was president of King Wire and chief operating officer of Telecom Energy Cables Corp/Taihan, USA.
WTEC Energy has locations in New Jersey, Texas, Arizona, Florida, and Monterrey, Mexico.
The company started looking for a new location close to many of its suppliers in El Paso and the Western United States, and chose New Mexico largely due to the incentive package, as well as the partnerships with EDD and the Mesilla Valley Economic Alliance (MVEDA), which provided site selection and technical assistance to the company.
In addition to LEDA, $100,000 from the El Paso Electric New Mexico Economic Development fund has been pledged to WTEC to support the project. The fund. which is administered by MVEDA and the Community Foundation of Southern New Mexico, was established by El Paso Electric in connection with the corporate sale of the Utility to Infrastructure Investments Fund (IIF) to provide $1 million per year for 20 years in support of private businesses, projects, and organizations that make, or will make, a measurable difference in achieving economic growth and development, expanding and diversifying the tax base, creating new quality jobs, and increasing the economic base within El Paso Electric’s New Mexico service territory.
“WTEC Corp’s expansion into the Chamberino community might just become one of the most impactful job creation projects to ever take place in rural New Mexico,” Davin Lopez, president and CEO of MVEDA, said. “We are pleased that we could partner El Paso Electric’s N.M. Economic Development Fund with the State of New Mexico and Doña Ana County to land this investment.”