Heliene to source solar glass from Canadian Premium Sand


Heliene, a U.S.-based manufacturer of solar modules, has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Canadian Premium Sand Inc. (CPS) to acquire patterned solar glass from the CPS’s glass manufacturing facility being developed in Selkirk, Manitoba.

Heliene has experienced significant growth since starting its U.S. operations in Minnesota in 2017. The local supply of CPS glass will enable Heliene to meet accelerating solar demand while ensuring certainty and quality thanks to the supply of American-made components of its bill of materials.

“Following several months of progressive discussions and a visit to Heliene’s Mountain Iron facilities earlier this year, we are delighted to now enter into an MOU with Heliene regarding long-term supply of our low-carbon, patterned solar glass”, stated Glenn Leroux, company president and CEO. “Heliene’s anticipated glass demand in 2024 reflects over 40% of our production capability for Phase 1 of our facility. We look forward to working with Heliene as a strategic partner and supporting their future growth plans.”

The new facility being built by CPS uses the high-purity, low-iron silica sand from its wholly owned Wanipigow quarry leases. CPS intends to power the facility with renewable energy, which reduces the carbon footprint of the glass.  The company also intends to use recycled water in the manufacturing process along with waste heat recovery. The initial facility (phase 1) will have annual production of 20 million square meters or the equivalent of 4 GW of solar panel manufacturing demand. The location in Manitoba has room for 4 such facilities in total. CPS expects to be manufacturing at full capacity in the first facility by 2025.

Martin Pochtaruk, President of Heliene, comments, “Amid exploding solar demand and trade volatility, our customers seek peace of mind that they are receiving the highest quality, competitively priced solar modules exactly when and where they need them. Having CPS supply us with a low-carbon glass, free of any geopolitical pressures is an enormous leap forward in the right direction.”

In July, Hanwha also executed a MOU to purchase solar glass from CPS. Anticipated glass demand from both parties would represent in excess of 120% of our production capability for Phase 1 of its facility. Hanwha, parent corporation of Qcells, is establishing a domestic, low-carbon solar supply chain to support its solar energy growth strategy in North America, where it is constructing a manufacturing facility in Georgia to nearly double its total US production capacity to over 3 GW.

CPS said it continues to advance other development initiatives that will bring the solar glass project to a shovel-ready status, including detailed engineering, permitting, silica sand resource upgrading and testing and ongoing negotiations to convert other existing expressions of interest to commercial offtake agreements.

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