Heliene just expanded its US solar panel manufacturing again
Solar panel maker Heliene has invested $10 million to ramp up manufacturing capacity at its Minnesota factory.
The Canadian solar panel maker is expanding Minnesota Line One, an original manufacturing and assembly line at its Mountain Iron factory. Minnesota Line One was first installed in 2018, and Heliene’s investment is doubling its capacity from 150 MW to 300 MW. It’s contiguous to a 500 MW line installed 12 months ago. The expanded line is expected to create over 130 new jobs.
Heliene says that the upgrades will improve the assembly line’s efficiency and enable it to manufacture TOPCon solar panels. TOPCon, or tunnel oxide passivated contact, is a manufacturing technology that makes a passivated emitter rear contact (PERC) cell more powerful and efficient. Chinese manufacturers have been making TOPCon panels since 2019.
Martin Pochtaruk, CEO of Heliene, said, “Recent funding and federal incentives are helping us grow our facilities and workforce to keep up with historically high demand for domestically produced solar PV modules.”
The expansion of Minnesota Line One is the latest milestone in Heliene’s North American ramp-up. In August 2023, Heliene and Nexamp, the US’s largest community solar provider, entered into a partnership that includes a 1.5 GW module order to support the development of US community solar projects.
Heliene secured $170 million in debt and equity financing from OIC and 2 Shores Capital in 2023, with existing customers also participating in the round. The company also announced plans to pursue a new factory in the Minneapolis area in 2024.
Read more: Largest US community solar panel purchase in history just happened with 1.5 GW order
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