Heliene to open 100MW heterojunction module manufacturing plant in Florida

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The Riviera Beach plant will begin operations in September. Image: Heliene.

Canadian solar manufacturer Heliene is opening a new plant in Florida that will produce heterojunction (HJT) modules for residential and commercial applications.

The 100MW Riviera Beach manufacturing facility, which will begin operations next month, adds to Heliene’s other two North American production plants located in Minnesota and Ontario, Canada.

The site will produce Heliene’s new 66-cell 370W module that uses multiwire technology and 18 round microwires in place of traditional flat busbars, which is said to reduce shading by 25% through creating a light trapping effect. The n-type silicon results in “extremely low” light-induced degradation and potential induced degradation, the company said.

According to Heliene, the new plant will be the only US facility to produce HJT solar modules.

“With the launch of the Florida facility, Heliene is strongly positioned to meet the significant forecasted demand for residential and commercial solar in the US,” said Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk. “Heterojunction module technology changes the economics of solar, giving our customers greater production density when designing residential and commercial installations.”

The 75,000-square-foot site is expected to create more than 60 new manufacturing, maintenance, engineering and logistics jobs.

Heliene’s US manufacturing investment comes two months after First Solar revealed plans for a 3.3GWdc facility in Ohio that will produce thin film modules for the utility-scale sector. First Solar said at the time that the US$680 million plant will help mitigate current ocean freight challenges.

US-based producers of solar equipment could be boosted by proposed legislation recently introduced into the Senate that would establish a tax credit for manufacturers. Aimed to help US manufacturers better compete with Chinese rivals, the legislation would provide support for each stage of the supply chain, including polysilicon, wafers, cells and modules.

Trade body the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA), which had previously called for 100GW of annual renewables manufacturing capacity in the US by 2030, responded to the tax credit proposals by setting a solar-specific target of 50GW of yearly production capacity by the end of the decade.

Meanwhile, two US solar manufacturers filed a petition last week that would extend the US’ Section 201 import tariffs on solar modules, which they claim would strengthen the country’s solar sector. Despite SEIA describing the tariffs as a “multibillion-dollar drag on industry growth”, a further three US-based companies have since submitted another petition.

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