Minnesota lawmakers make headlines earlier this year as they approve a package of financial incentives Draw a woodworking mill To Kohasset, in northern Minnesota.
But the legislature, along with state and county officials, has tossed cash for another economic development project in northern Minnesota – the expansion of a mountain plant – a city of 2,800 people between Virginia and Hibibing – producing solar panels.
Ontario-based Helion, Inc. Leading Plant: It is expected to be the second largest solar panel factory in the country in the new season. Project done.
Helien President Martin Poctaruk said the company aims to help the United States meet the new goals set by President Joe Biden to generate half of the country’s electricity by 2050. For such an electric motor, ”Poctaruk said Thursday at the inauguration of the new facility.
Helien rents an industrial park built by Mountain Metal Authority in 2010 to attract green energy projects. City Mayor Craig Weynio said the local economy is dependent on mining and forestry, and mountain officials see renewable energy as an opportunity for future development.
The commercial park just across the street from the entrance to the American steel giant Mintek Takonit was originally owned by another solar panel manufacturer, Silicon Energy. But that company closed the store in 2017 and sparked controversy For the worst result – Although received by millions from the state of Minnesota and local governments.
At the end of that year, Heline moved to a building on Silicon Road on the outskirts of the suburbs, such as Mining, Granite Street, and Agate Street. “He got up from there,” said Wanio.
Poctaruk has hired about 75 people over the past three years, making it a relatively large employer outside of mines and schools. About half of the mountain metal sales are owned by Minnesota companies, although Poctaruk is expected to hold the smallest share of sales after the expansion of Minnesota. Helion’s two largest Minnesota customers are Dulte-based Minnesota Power and Minneapolis-based American Solar, a company that has built several community solar gardens in the state.
After raising $ 21 million, Heline plans to hire another 60 people. The campus will grow from 27,000 square feet to 95,000 square feet and will include a new production line, additional storage and office space. Helion, which has manufacturing facilities in Canada and Florida, says it will more than triple its production capacity in molten metal. The company plans to begin construction in September and begin production in the new site in June.
While Heline is costing $ 9.5 million for the new manufacturing line, state and local governments are also pouring millions into the new building. The legislature is providing $ 5.5 million in support for the mountain, and the State Department of Employment and Economic Development and the Iron Regional Resources and Rehabilitation Board (IRRB) have each provided $ 2.75 million in loans for the project. St. Louis County donated $ 1 million.
“The heavy burden was really on the legislature,” said IRRRB Commissioner Mark Phillips. Fans have been trying for two years to raise funds for herbal expansion in the capital. A.D. In 2020, the measure did not hold a hearing in the Republican-led Senate, but in the closing days of the regular session, then-Democrat Chischol Sen. David Tomasoni – and Senior Tory Westrom, R-Elbow Lake, tried to increase funding to a local law package. On the floor of the Senate. (The amendment also includes funding for renewable energy ammonia.)
Bilateral activity has attracted some attention on the Senate floor, but Westrom has suspended the amendment, saying it was not part of an agreement reached between Republican leaders and Governor Tim Walt, despite Republican leaders’ plans. “We had the opportunity on that floor,” Tomasoni said Thursday. One of the reasons I was a little skeptical that we would finish was that he died.
A.D. In 2021, Tomasoni left the FDL and became chairman of a committee in collaboration with the Republican Senate. Still, the Senate has not finally increased funding for the Tomasoni-funded Mountain Solar Project. Shortly before the vote, R-Rochester, a senator, was added to the bill on the floor. The legislature approved the cash as part of a broader agreement on energy policy.
What has changed?
“I would not go home without it,” said Tomasoni. “Work on the iron frontier is something that people always talk about – multiplying the economy. What better way to get a solar panel production than in the Middle East, the only one in the steel region here.
At the event, lawmakers also said that representative Dave Lislard, DFL-Aurora, had won money for the project at the Minnesota House, and that the expansion eventually had a long and bipartisan list of supporters. The company has released a collection of quotes from Pitts Stuber, a U.S. senator from Waltz, Minnesota, and the 8th congressman from Congress.
$ 5.5 million has been withdrawn from the state’s renewable energy fund for clean energy projects with Xcel Energy to store nuclear waste in the region. State law assumes that the money will benefit Xcel customers.
Jamie Long, a representative of the DFF State of Minneapolis, who is chairing the council’s Climate and Energy Finance and Policy Committee, said Mount Iron is not in the Xcel service area. But he said most of the helium is produced by solar panels Sold In the Xcel region, there is, therefore, “greater benefit than expansion.”
Peter Teigland, director of policy and control at the Minnesota Solar Energy Industries Association, said at a government hearing in March at the State House that Heline had “access to high-quality solar modules,” and that most of solar production in Minnesota was done by Xcel. Service Area – Ensuring the use of nuclear waste.
At a ceremony held at the Helinee Facility on Thursday, Helicon President Poctaruk had a surprise. With tears in his eyes, he announced that the new expansion project would be named after Tomasoni, who had recently been diagnosed with ASS. After the two hugged, the factory staff said, “Senator David J.
Tomasoni went on to say: “There are so many here because there are so many people here today who could choose his name. I am honored only by Him, and I appreciate that people are aware of the hard work we have done to do this.