Heliene opens 420-MW solar panel assembly line in Minnesota

Oct 28, 2022 01:10 PM ET
  • Heliene officially unveiled its new solar panel assembly lines to the general public this week in Iron Mountain, Minnesota. The Canadian photovoltaic panel company has actually been running a 150-MW manufacturing facility in Minnesota because 2018. Those lines are still making typical 60- and 72-cell panels using legacy equipment, but now directly next door, brand new equipment will be making mono- and also bifacial panels with half-cut cells at a 420-MW annual capacity plant.
Heliene opens 420-MW solar panel assembly line in Minnesota
Image: Solar Power World

Solar energy Globe went to the ribbon-cutting occasion at the new Heliene production lines, together with over 100 members of the public, U.S. senators from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar and also Tina Smith, state senators and regional media. Martin Pochtaruk, Heliene chief executive officer, choked up when thanking the Heliene staff members at the occasion for getting up to work each day as well as making the expansion feasible. The solar production growth is a win for the local economic situation-- 60 extra employees are being hired for the new lines, bringing Heliene's overall Minnesota job count to 100.

Although Heliene started building on the new factory prior to producing tax obligation credits were included in the Inflation Reduction Act, this photovoltaic panel assembly facility is the initial to open up in a post-IRA globe and also an indication of points to find. The factory was built from the ground-up in less than a year, with the manufacturing equipment being delivered just five weeks earlier. The lines should start complete test runs next week, and Heliene is currently focusing on the future. Pochtaruk introduced that Heliene will certainly spend $7 million on updated equipment for the firm's initial 150-MW plant, increasing the capacity to 300 MW. And this is all going to be done by July 2023.

This will make Heliene's Minnesota manufacturing campus the second biggest crystalline silicon photovoltaic panel manufacturing facility in the USA. See our list of united state manufacturing sites here.

A few fun facts regarding Heliene's new manufacturing lines:

  • The new factory now has 4 cell stringers accessed by two robots, which will prevent pricey downtime if equipment need to fall short. The business's first manufacturing facility had two cell stringers accessed by one robot, which can grind all production to a halt if the older equipment hit a snag.
  • The new automated equipment ought to decrease labor effort by 70%, making Heliene solar panels much better able to take on cheap Asian imports. The company still prepares to hire 60 staff members for the new lines with even more coming as soon as extra changes are added.
  • With a lot of room to increase also additional and also great deals of neighborhood assistance, Heliene is taking a look at possibly beginning solar cell production to stop depending upon imports.

Solar Installers, Manufacturers