Micron launches $15 billion Idaho project amid federal push for US tech manufacturing

On Thursday, Micron announced that it would invest $15 billion to build a new semiconductor plant in Idaho — just weeks after Congress passed $52 billion in new money to boost domestic chip manufacturing.

Micron’s announcement is just the latest in a series of multi-billion-dollar plans to jump on the Biden administration’s recently approved CHIPS and Science Act. Last month, Micron said it would use the act’s new subsidies to invest $40 billion into US-based memory fabs, or fabrication plants, by 2030, creating an estimated 40,000 new jobs. The new Boise plant is expected to create 17,000 new jobs, including 2,000 Micron jobs, over the next eight years.

In a Thursday statement, Micron CEO Sanjay Mehrotra thanked the Biden administration for finishing the bipartisan chips legislation. “Our new leading-edge memory manufacturing fab will fuel US technology leadership, ensuring a reliable domestic supply of semiconductors that is critical to economic and national security,” Mehrotra said.

President Joe Biden celebrated Micron’s latest investment in a statement on Thursday, calling it “another big win for America.”

But up until last month, it wasn’t clear whether the CHIPS and Science Act would make it across the finish line this year. As it stalled in Congress, Intel delayed a groundbreaking ceremony for a new $20 billion Ohio chip plant and even went as far as pitching the Biden administration on overtaking an abandoned Chinese plant instead of waiting for the funding’s approval. These pitches frightened lawmakers, according to The New York Timesand pushed them to more swiftly approve the bill.

Shortly after Biden signed the bill into law, The Columbus Dispatch reported that the president would attend a new groundbreaking for Intel’s plant this month. The company claims that it would be the “largest silicon manufacturing location on the planet” and would require 7,000 workers to build.

Last week, Biden signed an executive order to start rolling out the billions in subsidies to manufacturers like Micron and Intel. Biden’s order established a new interagency council to oversee the rollout, but it’s unclear when the Commerce Department will officially make the new funding available.

Through Biden administration priorities like the CHIPs funding and the bipartisan infrastructure law, the federal government has invested billions into creating domestic tech and manufacturing jobs.

“Just this week, we’ve seen First Solar, Toyota, Honda, and Corning make major announcements of new investments and new jobs as a direct result of my economic plan,” Biden said on Thursday. “In our future, we will make EVs, chips, fiber optics, and other critical components here in America, and we will have an economy built from the bottom up and middle out.”

In April, Energy Secretary Jennifer Granholm made $3.1 billion in funding available to US companies to build and recycle lithium-ion batteries to help boost EV adoption. Earlier this week, an energy startup called Sparkz announced plans to build a new battery factory in northern West Virginia.

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