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Sault solar module manufacturer cashes up for local, U.S. expansion

Heliene raises US$170 million in debt and equity financing to fuel growth plans
Heliene's Mountain Iron, Minn. facility (Company photo)

Heliene, a fast-growing Sault Ste. Marie solar panel manufacturer, has secured a US$170-million financing package to key its factory expansions in Minnesota and its Canadian home base.

The funding is earmarked for two new 300-megawatt manufacturing lines in the Sault and at its Mountain Iron, Minn. plants. That translates to 200 Ontario jobs and 300 Minnesota positions.

Incentivized by the U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk spoke at length with Northern Ontario Business last month on its prolific growth plans that's boosted production capacity at Mountain Iron, has sparked upcoming expansion into the Minneapolis-St. Paul area, and is leading to upgrades and expansion at its Sault facility this fall.

According to a Sept.12  company news release, Heliene’s lending partner, Orion Infrastructure Capital (OIC), is providing a $150-million credit facility with an additional $20 million in equity coming from a combination of a lender in 2Shores Capital and from two Heliene customers, Valta Energy and Bullock Renewables.

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The funding will support a 1.5-gigawatt module supply agreement with Nexamp, a U.S. community solar farm developer. Heliene will produce the modules for their sites over the next five years.

The company said this deal with Nexamp represents the “largest community solar module order in U.S. history” in supporting the development of 400 new community solar projects to a more than a quarter of a million households. 

“This new capital from OIC, Bullrock, Valta and 2Shores enables us to strengthen our manufacturing capacity to meet high demand for our domestically-produced solar modules. Our team is grateful for the support of the investors and we’re particularly proud to have several high-value customers joining us as shareholders,” said Martin Pochtaruk, Heliene CEO, in a statement.

Last year, Heliene expanded capacity at its Mountain Iron facility by opening an additional 500 megawatts. Future planned investments will accelerate manufacturing capacity in the U.S. from 1.1 gigawatts to 2.0 gigawatts by the end of 2024.

Heliene also owns and operates a factory in Riviera Beach, Fla. where it has 100 megawatts worth of solar panel production.



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