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Heliene Canada cuts a ribbon. Adds a crew (15 photos)

Demand for solar panels is increasing so fast in Ontario that, as of next month, every panel made at the new Heliene Inc. manufacturing plant in Sault Ste. Marie will be sold within the province.

Demand for solar panels is increasing so fast in Ontario that, as of next month, every panel made at the new Heliene Inc. manufacturing plant in Sault Ste. Marie will be sold within the province.

The plant held its ribbon cutting ceremony today and during that ceremony President Martin Pochtaruk (shown) said production is moving to 24 hours a day, seven days a week starting in January.

By the end of December, there will be 57 people working at the plant on Allen's Side Road that only broke ground in late May.

Production at Heliene Canada actually began on October 17 with a factory-floor crew of 12 and eight support workers.

By the end of December, just 10 weeks after start-up, Heliene Canada will have 57 employees.

That's four crews working 12-hour shifts to produce high-efficiency, maximum-yield photovoltaic solar panels for installers all across the province.

"It would take four panels to power an average home," said Pochtaruk. "Solar farms like the one on Base Line could have as many as 80,000 but they are the same."

The panels made by Heliene can be installed in any quantity to supply as much power as is needed from the sun.

That makes them practical for home, commercial and utility usage.

The Heliene panels also generate electricity no matter how cloudy it is.

If full sun is shining on a panel, it will generate its maximum amount of power, about 300 watts.

But even on a very cloudy or overcast day, the panel will generate usable amounts of electricity.

The technology used by Heliene Canada is from Heliene Europe's sister company SAP Sistemas de Automatizacion de Procesos (SAP).

It was developed and proven in Spain.

During the ribbon cutting today, Pochtaruk said the plant wouldn't have been possible without the support of the Ontario government, its Green Energy Act and the Northern Ontario Heritage Foundation Corporation (NOHFC).

The full text of a release from Sault MPP David Orazietti follows.

To learn more about Heliene Ltd., visit its website.

************************** Orazietti cuts ribbon on new $10 million solar panel manufacturing plant

Province delivers new jobs and economic growth in Sault Ste. Marie

SAULT STE. MARIE - Today at the Heliene Inc. solar module manufacturing plant on Allen’s Side Road, David Orazietti, MPP participated in the official opening of a new facility that is part of Ontario’s green energy plan to create jobs and economic growth.

“By supporting Heliene Inc., a value-added manufacturing businesses in the green energy sector, we are creating high quality, good paying jobs and positioning our city to be at the forefront of the growing renewable energy industry," said Orazietti. "Our leading edge Green Energy Act is modernizing Ontario's power grid and at the same time helping build a stronger and more diversified economy in Sault Ste. Marie.”

The province, through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation’s (NOHFC) enterprise north job creation program, contributed $2.5 million to building the $10 million solar module manufacturing plant.

Heliene Inc. is expected to produce 87,500 solar panels which can generate 20 megawatts of power per year.

“Heliene Inc. is celebrating the official opening of its Sault Ste. Marie manufacturing plant today thanks to significant support from the province,” said Denis Turcotte, investor in Heliene Inc. “The production of high-efficiency, maximum-yield photovoltaic solar panels right here in our city makes Sault Ste. Marie a green energy leader in North America.”

“The provincial government’s innovative Green Energy Act is the most visionary plan for renewable power generation in North America and it is essential to replacing old coal-powered generation,“ said Martin Pochtaruk, president of Heliene Inc. “We are very grateful for the support from the province’s Northern Ontario Heritage Fund, which has allowed for the creation of 57 local jobs at our solar module plant.”

‪Key provincial government investments that are transforming Sault Ste. Marie into the green energy capital of North America while also strengthening the local economy and creating jobs in the Sault and Algoma include:

- Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $400 million investment by Brookfield Renewable Power in 189 MW wind farm that has created 345 total jobs: 315 construction, 30 permanent operating jobs.

- Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $250 million investment by Starwood Energy in 50 MW solar farm that has created 420 total jobs for Phase I and Phase II: 400 construction, 20 permanent operating jobs.

- Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $175 million investment by St. Mary’s Paper in 30 MW biomass co-gen plant that is expected to create 555 total projected jobs upon completion: 400 construction, 155 permanent operating jobs.

- Ontario power purchase agreement to facilitate $135 million investment by Essar Steel in 70 MW co-gen plant that is eliminating 400 tons of nitrous oxide and that has created 173 total jobs: 168 construction, five permanent operating jobs.

Quick facts

- NOHFC funding for the project is provided through its enterprises north job creation program which now provides grants in additional to business loans.

- Provincial investments in the growth of the clean energy sector are part of the Open Ontario plan to create jobs and opportunities in Northern Ontario.

************************** Earlier SooToday.com coverage of this story

Sault ideal for solar energy, says our newest manufacturer Orazietti goes solar Sault firm is Ontario's first solar panel manufacturer

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