Heliene inks supply agreement with UGE for U.S.-made solar modules


Heliene, Inc., a North American manufacturer of solar energy equipment, announced a multiyear supply agreement for U.S.-made solar modules with U.S.-made cells with UGE, a community and commercial solar developer.

Use of Heliene’s modules is expected to help UGE’s projects qualify for the domestic content adder in the Investment Tax Credit (ITC) under the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The solar cells are made by U.S.-based Suniva, which recently announced a three-year sourcing contract under which Suniva will supply domestically manufactured solar cells to Heliene for incorporation into its solar modules.

Heliene has a 300 MW manufacturing line in Ontario and a 100 MW line in Riveria Beach, Florida, and last year announced expansions to its Minnesota facility, adding 150 MW of capacity to the site. It has two manufacturing lines producing a combined annual 800 MW of solar modules. The upgrades also enable the company to produce TOPCon solar modules, which has rapidly emerged as a leading cell type in the global solar market.

With the Heliene supply agreement in place, UGE is projected to begin qualifying for the domestic content adder on projects that start construction as early as this summer. The domestic content adder can be obtained only by using U.S. made cells, according to guidance from the U.S. Department of Treasury, published in May 2023. To qualify for the bonus, developers must purchase modules with U.S.-made solar cells, which continues to be a challenge due to the dearth of domestic cell manufacturers.

The domestic content credit, paired with other qualifying Investment Tax Credits adders, make a significant impact on project economics for UGE and other solar developers. Excelsior Energy Capital, for example, is another developer that recently announced a supply agreement with Heliene. Excelsior will purchase modules primarily produced at the company’s Minnesota factory.

“We are excited to collaborate with a like-minded company that has been our client for over a decade, now supplying U.S.-made modules with U.S.-made cells; we all look forward to this multiyear agreement with an already long-term partner,” said Martin Pochtaruk, CEO at Heliene.

UGE is a Toronto-based developer with a mission to make renewable energy accessible and affordable for all. The company reported it ended 2023 with 4.8 MW of operating assets, and that in 2023 the company reached commercial operation on 2.5 MW of projects, including a 1.0 MW project in Norway, Maine within the fourth quarter, which more than doubled the company’s operational portfolio from 2.3 MW to 4.8 MW. UGE focuses primarily on developing solar projects that serve low-to moderate-income communities and those most adversely affected by the transition away from the fossil fuel economy.

“We are thrilled about our partnership with Heliene, which will provide us with a reliable source of high-quality modules and support the critical need for growth in domestic solar manufacturing,” said Nick Blitterswyk, UGE’s founder and CEO. “Perhaps most exciting for us, this partnership will help us qualify for Domestic Content Tax Credits, improving our project economics so we can expand our impact by developing more renewable energy projects for the communities we serve.”

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