Altus Power announced it signed an agreement with Heliene to purchase up to 250MW of solar modules for use in construction projects across the US. The deal includes a commitment by Altus Power to invest up to $5 million in Heliene in anticipation of the company’s initial public capital raise. Heliene is set to perform a reverse take-over transaction with Buzz Capital 2 Ltd. and join the TSX Venture Exchange.
Heliene manufactures its modules with monocrystalline PERC cells, which it said have a half-cut design to reduce cell-to-module losses. The panels have use cases in utility-scale, commercial & industrial, and residential markets.
“Many U.S. solar developers are currently facing supply and trade volatility risks, causing potential project delays. We are pleased to partner with our customer Altus Power to help them develop the projects in their pipeline with confidence,” said Martin Pochtaruk, Heliene CEO.
The modules are planned to be produced in Mountain Iron, Minnesota, where Heliene recently expanded its operations. Three production facility locations in the US and Canada are expected to achieve a total manufacturing capacity of 900MW in operations by Q3 2022. Heliene, founded in 2010, has facilities in Minnesota, Ontario, and Florida.
“Domestic made equipment and materials are becoming an increasingly important component of our procurement efforts and this supply certainty will be significant to our total module requirements,” said Tony Savino, Co-Founder and Chief Construction Officer of Altus Power.
Savino said Altus Power is the only public, vertically integrated commercial and industrial focused clean electrification company in the US. He said that having a reliable, steady supply of solar modules is critical to the company’s growth strategy. Based in Stamford, Connecticut, Altus Power owns and operates locally sited solar PV, energy storage, and EV charging infrastructure across 18 states.
US and North American solar manufacturing have potential to rise significantly as both Sen. Jon Ossoff’s Solar Energy Manufacturing for America Act and the Biden Administration’s Build Back Better (BBB) Act, which has $550 billion in climate provisions, work their way through the legislature.
An earlier proposal of BBB had significant provisions for US manufacturing. Included in the bill were incentives for the manufacture of thin film PV or crystalline PV cells. The incentive would pay $0.04 per watt DC capacity of the cell. PV wafers would be offered $12 per square meter, and solar-grade polysilicon is offered $3 per kilogram US-made solar modules are offered an incentive of $0.07 per watt.
Senator Joe Manchin (D-VA) shut down the earlier proposal of BBB, and said he intends to start “from scratch,” but it is likely that US manufacturing would continue to receive focus in the Act.
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