A huge part of the ongoing commercial and industrial (C&I) energy transition in U.S. is happening not only in end-use customer projects such as efficiency, electrification and microgrids, but it's also revealing itself in a massive way on the manufacturing side.
Schneider Electric is one of numerous companies moving factory operations focused on next-gen grid technologies in the U.S. The French-based energy giant’s biggest manufacturing footprint will be at its $20 million new factory in El Paso, Texas, which was unveiled earlier this month.
Part of its $300 million investment in U.S.-based manufacturing, Schneider Electric’s fourth El Paso facility is already producing custom-designed low and medium voltage electrical equipment which will offer safer and more efficient ways to distribute power from the utility grid to sites within the C&I and residential sectors.
The first equipment made in El Paso was shipped out this summer to data center customers. The company is adding about four hundred workers and will total about 1,500 people employed in the city by the end of the year, according to reports. Among the attendees at the El Paso unveiling was Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and local leaders.
“Schneider Electric’s investment in the El Paso community goes beyond creating well-paying jobs for our skilled workforce—it’s significantly enhancing our local economy,” El Paso Mayor Oscar Leeser said in a statement after the ribbon-cutting event.
This is one of many announced new or expanded U.S. manufacturing footprints focused on decarbonization, energy efficiency and electrification technologies. Incentives from the federal Inflation Reduction Act and local benefits are driving new projects by First Solar, ABB, Hyundai, Eaton, Heliene, John Deere and numerous others.
Schneider Electric is already highly invested in an American workforce with some 20 factory facilities nationwide. The overall $300 million U.S. investment was announced several years ago, while the plans to expand in El Paso were first detailed last year.
“Schneider Electric is proud to be at the forefront of America’s manufacturing renaissance, exemplifying our commitment to fostering innovation, job creation and sustainable growth,” Annette Clayton, CEO of the company’s North American operations, said. “As we embark on this journey with the opening of our latest manufacturing plant in the United States, we look forward to providing the highest level of service to our customers while also contributing to the revitalization of American manufacturing.”
In addition to the El Paso factory, Schneider Electric has invested in new equipment and upgraded operations at manufacturing sites in Lexington, Kentucky; Lincoln, Nebraska and Mechanicsburg and Middletown, Pennsylvania.
A manufacturing outlook report by consulting firm Deloitte anticipates a 2.5-percent growth in gross domestic product in multi-sector manufacturing this year. The demand by manufacturers is led by a focus on technologies such as automation, data analytics, internet of things platform, artificial intelligence and digital twins, according to the Deloitte survey.