SILER CITY, N.C. (WGHP) – Wolfspeed Inc, a company that manufactures semiconductors that are used in EV charging stations and many other products, received nearly $800 million in state and local incentives to open a facility in Chatham County that will add hundreds of high-paying jobs.
The Department of Commerce’s Economic Investment Committee unanimously approved state funding contributions that will total $159.1 million, and the county and Siler City have chipped in another $600 million, the committee heard this morning.
The state’s contributions include more than $86 million in regular investment grants, a variety of supplementary grants and about $57 million budgeted to assist with site development.
The expansion at the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site, the Department of Commerce notes in a release, will produce the materials to make semiconductor chips and devices that more efficiently power electric vehicle inverters and charging systems. NC A&T got a shout-out in the announcement because of its engineering initiatives.
This follows the earlier announcement that VinFast, a Vietnamese auto manufacturer, would build its electric vehicles at a facility in Chatham County. And there were prior state grants to lure Toyota’s battery plant to the Greensboro Randolph Megasite, Boom Supersonic to Piedmont Triad International Airport and other peripheral investments in the electric vehicle development.
Wolfspeed will invest more than $5 billion by 2030 and add 1,802 employees between 2026 and 2030. These positions will pay an average minimum salary of $77,753.
The company, with headquarters in Durham, already employs 3,023 statewide – also at the Research Triangle Park and Fayetteville – and the grant requires that base to be maintained.
“Wolfspeed’s decision further validates North Carolina as the epicenter of clean energy,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a release from the NC DOC. “This is another milestone in our drive toward a clean energy economy as it will boost electric vehicle manufacturing and offshore wind while fighting climate change and putting money in the pockets of everyday North Carolinians with great paying jobs.”
In beating out Marcy, New York, where Wolfspeed has a large facility, North Carolina should realize $17.5 billion added to the state’s gross domestic product by 2045 and $312 million in additional state revenue.
Because of the size of this investment, the project is considered high-yield and will be paid out over 20 years. If the company fails to meet its requirements, that would revert to a traditional 12-year grant, the committee was told.
“We are particularly excited and proud to not only expand Wolfspeed’s footprint in our home state of North Carolina, but also our relationship with North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University to develop a workforce of the future,” said Gregg Lowe, president and CEO of Wolfspeed. “The Chatham County facility will enable the increasing adoption of Silicon Carbide and will drive the dramatic growth of the technology as the power semiconductor market transitions from silicon to the much more efficient Silicon Carbide technology.”