Qcells, Heliene, Meyer Burger sign on for North America solar glass supply

north america supply chain

Canadian Premium Sand Inc. is developing a new facility to produce patterned solar glass for the growing footprint of North America-based solar module manufacturers, and last week announced three significant offtakers: Hanwha Solutions Corporation (Qcells), Heliene Inc. and Meyer Burger Technology AG.

Canadian Premium Sands and its EPC consortium have designed an 800 tonne per day solar glass manufacturing facility, significantly larger than the 550 tonne per day facility originally contemplated, due to the recent demand. That’s approximately 6 GW per annum of solar panel manufacturing capacity in North America.

These three North American solar panel manufacturers account for a combined 62% of planned output capacity and an average renewable contract term of over 4 years. These agreements include options to increase firm off-take volumes by an additional 15% of planned output capacity to a combined total of 77%, subject to mutual agreement.

“We are excited to have reached this important stage in the development of our integrated solar glass manufacturing project,” stated Canadian Premium Sands president and CEO Glenn Leroux. “With strong revenue visibility through binding commercial off-take agreements and a high degree of certainty with capital costs and operational performance through our EPC agreement, we are confident in our ability to commercialize this high return project, supporting the global energy transition. We look forward to a successful financing process that capitalizes our project and enables the delivery of our exciting business plan”

To further complement these contracted volumes, the company is negotiating additional firm off-take agreements with nine other solar panel manufacturers. The Company has executed MOUs with these counterparties that represent an additional 170% of total planned output capacity and expects to convert several of these MOUs into formal off-take agreements such that 100% of planned output capacity is contracted to further de-risk the project.

The facility will be capable of producing a range of patterned solar glass specifications, including standard 3.2mm thick front-glass for the residential and commercial rooftop market as well as 2.0 mm thick glass required for the bifacial utility market.

Hanwha, through its Qcells division, is the largest solar panel manufacturer in North America and is establishing a comprehensive domestic supply chain strategy. Qcells has announced plans for a total investment of $2.66 billion to expand its existing 1.7 GW of production capacity in Georgia, to 8.4 GW by 2024. The company’s agreement with Qcells incorporates solar glass volumes that represent a material proportion of the Company’s planned output capacity.

Meyer Burger, a large Switzerland-based solar panel manufacturer, is building a manufacturing facility in Arizona with 2.0 GW of annual production capacity. In August 2022, Meyer Burger announced a long-term agreement for supply of modules to D.E Shaw Renewable Investments, a large renewable energy project operator in the U.S. Additional off-take agreements between Meyer Burger and two other renowned counterparties were announced in March 2023 and a significant offtake agreement was signed with Ikea in May 2023.

Heliene, a Canadian based company with operations in Ontario and Minnesota, is focused on establishing a domestic solar supply chain to support its growth strategy in North America. Heliene has experienced significant growth since starting in 2010 in Canada and its U.S. operations in 2017 and is currently expanding its manufacturing capacity by 100% to 2 GW.

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