Wolfspeed selects North Carolina for 445 acre manufacturing campus

Raleigh, NC – Wolfspeed, Inc., a leading manufacturer of Silicon Carbide semiconductors, will create more than 1,800 new jobs in Chatham County by 2030. The company will construct a manufacturing campus for the production of Silicon Carbide materials with an investment of approximately $5 billion over the next eight years in the Town of Siler City.

Rendering of Wolfspeed Silicon Carbide Materials manufacturing facility to be located in Chatham County

Founded and headquartered in Durham, North Carolina, Wolfspeed is the global leader in the production of Silicon Carbide materials and devices which support sustainability through a more efficient use of energy than traditional semiconductor technology. This technology is used in a variety of applications including electric vehicles, 5G networks, and renewable energy and storage. The company’s expansion at the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site will produce the Silicon Carbide materials to make semiconductor chips and devices that more efficiently power electric vehicle inverters and charging systems.

“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.”

Phase one construction is anticipated to be completed in 2024 and cost approximately $1.3 billion. Between 2024 and the end of the decade, the company will add additional capacity as needed, eventually occupying more than one million square feet on the 445-acre site.

The North Carolina Department of Commerce coordinated the state’s recruitment of Wolfspeed, which also involved state, regional, and local organizations. Salaries for the new jobs will vary by position, but altogether the average wage will be $77,753, which exceeds Chatham County’s average annual wage of $41,638. The project could increase the payroll by more than $140 million per year for the region.

Wolfspeed’s arrival in Siler City is a result of the company’s rapid growth and increasing demands as it seeks to supply the world’s chips. Recent federal legislation has also hastened the development of Wolfspeed products.

“The Siler City community is overjoyed to welcome Wolfspeed,” said Siler City Mayor Chip Price. “Many in Siler City have worked tirelessly to recruit a project to the Chatham- Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site and I celebrate with each of those at this announcement today.”

The project from Wolfspeed, will be facilitated, in part, by a High-Yield Job Development Investment Grant (JDIG) approved by the state’s Economic Investment Committee earlier today. Wolfspeed’s project is estimated to grow the state’s economy by more than $17.5 billion over 20 years, the time period when the grant could be active. Using a formula that takes into account the new tax revenues generated by the 1,802 new jobs, and accounting for a company investment of $5 billion, the JDIG agreement authorizes the potential reimbursement to the company of up to $76.1 million, paid over a time period of 20 years.

Like all grants from the JDIG program, any state payments only occur following performance verification each year by the departments of Commerce and Revenue that the company has met its incremental job creation and investment targets.

Wolfspeed’s JDIG agreement also calls for moving as much as $10 million into the state’s Industrial Development Fund – Utility Account. The Utility Account helps rural communities anywhere in the state finance necessary infrastructure upgrades to attract future business. 

The state approved additional support to help with final site preparations at the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing Site as part of the recently passed state budget (North Carolina House Bill 103). Included in that support was a $57.5 million appropriation to the Department of Commerce to be used for site preparation.

The Chatham Economic Development Corporation (EDC) worked alongside multiple local, regional, and state partners to win the project. In addition to the North Carolina Department of Commerce and the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina, other key partners in the project include the North Carolina General Assembly, the North Carolina Community College System, the North Carolina Department of Transportation, the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, the Golden LEAF Foundation, Chatham County, Randolph County, the Town of Siler City, the City of Asheboro, the Town of Ramseur, the Town of Franklinville, the Randolph County Economic Development Corporation, Duke Energy, Randolph Electric Membership Corporation, Dominion Energy, Samet Corporation, Freese and Nichols, Preston Development, Progressive Resources and Opportunities, the Raleigh Executive JetPort, and North Carolina State University.

Development of the Chatham-Siler City Advanced Manufacturing (CAM) Site began over a decade ago and was possible with the help of many key individuals. Past EDC Presidents Dianne Reid, Kyle Touchstone, and Alyssa Byrd, along with site partners Tim Booras and D.H. Griffin companies laid the foundation for Siler City’s future success.