Heliene to set up 400MW mono PERC module production line in Minnesota

The company is also opening a module production plant in Florida this month. Image: Heliene.

Canadian solar company Heliene plans to invest US$21 million in a new module production line in Minnesota, taking its total manufacturing capacity up to 900MW.

The 400MW expansion of Heliene’s Mountain Iron facility will see it focus on the production of standard M6, M10 and M12 mono PERC cells as the company aims to meet accelerating demand.

Construction will start this month adjacent to one of the firm’s existing facilities, with manufacturing set to begin in June 2022.

“The investment in this ultra-efficient new manufacturing line will significantly increase the rate of American-made module delivery while eliminating costly supply chain risks for customers,” said Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk.

As part of efforts to grow clean energy markets in the region and create manufacturing jobs, several public organisations provided funding to Mountain Iron’s Economic Development Authority to support Heliene’s expansion, the company said.

It also received a US$5.5 million grant from the State of Minnesota’s Renewable Development Account, which funds projects that boost the state’s electrification and climate change abatement efforts.

“Minnesotans know that clean energy is key to our economic future. With this expansion, Heliene will create more Minnesota jobs while building up manufacturing supply chains in the solar industry,” said Senator Tina Smith of Minnesota.

The expansion comes after Heliene revealed in August that it would open its third North American manufacturing plant. Located in Riviera Beach, Florida, that 100MW facility is set to begin operations this month, producing 370W heterojunction modules for residential and commercial applications.

Heliene is a member of the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America, a coalition of solar companies with US operations that are calling for a solar manufacturing tax credit in the country. Other members include REC Silicon, Q CELLS, First Solar and Sunnova.

Earlier this year, Democratic Senator Jon Ossoff introduced new legislation, dubbed the Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act, that would establish tax credits to rapidly boost American solar manufacturing, providing support for each stage of the supply chain, including polysilicon, wafers, cells and modules. US manufacturers were quick to throw their weight behind the proposals.