Heliene formally unveiled its new photo voltaic panel meeting traces to the general public this week in Iron Mountain, Minnesota. The Canadian photo voltaic panel firm has been working a 150-MW manufacturing unit in Minnesota since 2018. These traces are nonetheless making conventional 60- and 72-cell panels utilizing legacy tools, however now immediately subsequent door, model new tools will probably be making mono- and bifacial panels with half-cut cells at a 420-MW annual capability plant.
Photo voltaic Energy World attended the ribbon-cutting occasion on the new Heliene manufacturing traces, together with over 100 members of the general public, U.S. senators from Minnesota Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith, state senators and native media. Martin Pochtaruk, Heliene CEO, choked up when thanking the Heliene staff on the occasion for getting as much as work every day and making the enlargement doable. The photo voltaic manufacturing enlargement is a win for the native financial system — 60 further staff are being employed for the brand new traces, bringing Heliene’s complete Minnesota job rely to 100.
Though Heliene began building on the brand new manufacturing unit earlier than manufacturing tax credit have been included within the Inflation Discount Act, this photo voltaic panel meeting facility is the primary to open in a post-IRA world and an indication of issues to return. The manufacturing unit was constructed from the ground-up in lower than a 12 months, with the manufacturing tools being delivered simply 5 weeks in the past. The traces ought to start full check runs subsequent week, and Heliene is already specializing in the longer term. Pochtaruk introduced that Heliene will spend $7 million on up to date tools for the corporate’s unique 150-MW plant, doubling the capability to 300 MW. And that is all going to be finished by July 2023.
This can make Heliene’s Minnesota manufacturing campus the second largest crystalline silicon photo voltaic panel manufacturing unit in the USA. See our record of U.S. manufacturing websites right here.
A number of enjoyable information about Heliene’s new manufacturing traces:
- The brand new manufacturing unit now has 4 cell stringers accessed by two robots, which is able to forestall expensive downtime if tools ought to fail. The corporate’s first manufacturing unit had two cell stringers accessed by one robotic, which may grind all manufacturing to a halt if the older tools hit a snag.
- The brand new automated tools ought to scale back labor effort by 70%, making Heliene photo voltaic panels higher in a position to compete with low-cost Asian imports. The corporate nonetheless plans to rent 60 staff for the brand new traces with extra coming as soon as further shifts are added.
- With loads of room to broaden even additional and many native help, Heliene is taking a look at probably beginning photo voltaic cell manufacturing to cease relying on imports.