Suniva officially back, contracts with Heliene to produce PV with U.S. solar cells in 2024

Heliene solar manufacturing facility

Suniva‘s quest to revive silicon solar cell production in the United States is finally coming to fruition. The U.S. manufacturer announced a three-year strategic sourcing contract with Heliene, a North American manufacturer of solar PV modules, to incorporate Suniva’s U.S.-made solar cells into Heliene’ U.S.-made solar modules, with market availability beginning in mid-2024.

Heliene’s modules will be the first crystalline solar modules with a U.S.-made solar cell.

“Heliene is proud to embark on this historic partnership with Suniva at a time when the U.S. is poised to capture a greater share of the global solar market by bolstering domestic manufacturing and onshoring of supply,” said Martin Pochtaruk, CEO of Heliene. “Introducing Suniva’s U.S.-made cells into our manufacturing process will enable Heliene to expand its commitment to offering best-in-class modules that enable our customers to qualify for lucrative tax credits and incentives.”

Quick history | Suniva filed for bankruptcy in 2017, and then filed a Section 201 petition, with resulted in tariffs on imported solar cells and panels by the Trump Administration and later extended by the Biden Administration (however, they have been on pause due to Biden’s two-year tariff moratorium, which is nearing its conclusion).

The Section 201 tariffs proved not to be a powerful enough mechanism to level the playing field for U.S.-made solar cells in the global market place. But, the 10% Domestic Content Bonus Investment Tax Credit in the Inflation Reduction Act, seems to have done the trick.

“This contract is a testament to the effectiveness of the Inflation Reduction Act and Treasury’s May 2023 domestic content guidance,” said Cristiano Amoruso, CEO of Suniva. “We are proud to fulfill our long-standing promise to bring back cell manufacturing to the United States at our Norcross facility.”

Suniva announced plans to restart production at its facility in Georgia in October 2023. The dormant Suniva facility pumped out ~ 450 MW of production capacity at the time of the 2017 bankruptcy filing.

There are other silicon solar cell facilities set to come online (see our Onshoring Outlook for more on that), but as of this writing, all U.S.-made solar crystalline modules use only imported cells.

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