Renewable energy will play an increasingly important role in future global energy needs, especially if the impact of global warming is expected to be contained.
According to a recent report by S&P Global Market Intelligence, up to 44 gigawatts of large-scale solar power are expected to come online in the United States next year, nearly double the 23 gigawatts of new capacity estimated in 2021.
In the United States, the Biden administration has called for a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035, which is supported, at least in part, by the recently passed infrastructure bill that includes billions of dollars for clean energy projects. In addition, the larger $ 1.75 trillion “Build Back Better” legislation includes $ 555 billion in climate-related spending.
Canadian company Heliene Inc stands to benefit greatly from spending on clean energy south of the border. The solar module manufacturer serves the utility, commercial and residential markets. Heliene is a very responsive, customer-focused company providing competitively priced, made-to-order solar systems in North America to help deliver solar projects on time and on budget.
Heliene CEO Martin Pochtaruk, former Vice President of Business Development at Algoma Steel Inc, has over 30 years of experience running manufacturing and innovation companies in Europe and America while also founding Heliene in 2010.
Proactive met with Pochtaruk who explained how the company plans to grow its business as well as how it expects to benefit from renewable energy spending in the United States.
Proactive: Tell us a bit about your business. What are photovoltaic solar modules?
Martin pochtaruk: This is what people generally call solar modules for solar panels. A solar panel is a glorified window that receives sunlight and generates electricity.
How is your business different from other solar energy suppliers?
The product we make is very similar; it’s intangible with other companies. We’re a North American supplier, and it’s a marketing difference between being a North American supplier and receiving the product from elsewhere in the world. We work in partnership with our customers rather than just being an equipment supplier halfway around the world.
How do you plan to develop your business? What are the company’s goals for the next 6 to 18 months?
In the next six or eight months, we will increase the manufacturing capacity by 100%. And this is something that has already started. So if you look at our press releases from September 9, 2021, we’ve had the cornerstone for our next expansion in Minnesota, a new plant that will be in place by June 2022, which increases the company’s capacity to 100%.
The main market we sell to is therefore the United States and not Canada. What we manufacture in the United States stays in the United States and what we manufacture in Canada goes to the United States. There are several incentive programs coming up in the “Build Back Better” legislation in the United States, which is the next big program that Congress is working on. It is expected to be put to a vote in the House of Representatives and the Senate by the end of the month.
The big infrastructure package was finally passed by Congress recently, so “Build Back Better” is next. And this includes several provisions to accelerate the fight against climate change and accelerate electrification. So when you hear people talking about electrification, it means the advancement of renewable energy and solar within it. Solar energy in the United States today is 50%, if not a little more, of what people use as a source of renewable energy.
How will you benefit from US law?
There are two parts to this. One is what goes to consumers. About 70% of the market is investment in infrastructure, large solar farms, and this is mainly the market that we are looking for.
Currently, the investment tax credits that American companies receive are 26%. And that goes down from 22% in 2022 to 10% the following year and to zero after. This law increases it to 30% until 2031. This is something that will speed up investment.
The other is that there is a 10% premium, a tax credit. And that 10% bonus goes to national content. And that national content is exactly what our company will deliver. So in order for people to claim this 10% bonus, they will have to purchase all the content on the American product.
The other part of the same package is the Ossoff Bill, named after the Georgia senator elected in January 2021, because it provides a direct tax refund for the manufacture of solar modules in the United States, which is monetarily significant. because it is essentially between 15 and 17%. the price of the product that the company will be able to claim for anything made in the United States.
And there’s more. There is a capital expenditure tax credit. So for every dollar invested in new equipment in the United States, we get a 30% tax credit. This is why the “Build Back Better” legislation is important for the company.
Why should investors be more optimistic about the solar industry than they were 20 years ago?
The bottom line is what’s called the discounted cost of electricity (LCOE), which is the cost of electricity relative to all fuels. And the lowest cost in the United States today is solar power. Just five years ago, natural gas was the lowest price. When you look quarter by quarter in the United States, what is the new generation of electricity made up of? More than 50% of new electricity production comes from solar energy. And this shows you a trend: solar power is expected to account for over 50% of all electricity produced on the planet by 2050. We may see it because it is already happening today.
Finally, please talk a bit about Heliene’s plans to go public?
Buzz Capital 2 Inc, a shell company, recently announced a reverse takeover that will allow Heliene to go public on the Toronto Venture Exchange within the next 45 days.
Heliene will also complete concurrent financing for minimum gross proceeds of $ 35 million, priced at $ 1.00 per subscription receipt, up to a maximum of $ 45 million. Each unit of the financing will consist of one common share of Heliene plus one common share purchase warrant, which will allow its holder to acquire one common share of Heliene at an exercise price of $ 1.25 for one share. 24 month period. Heliene will have 179,517,005 fully diluted shares outstanding if the maximum of $ 45 million is raised.
Contact Sean at [email protected]