Independent power producer Greenbacker Renewable Energy has agreed to recycle decommissioned solar panels from its projects through SolarCycle.
Today’s partnership provides Greenbacker’s fleet — which currently includes over 975 MW of operating solar projects — a committed recycling partner and offers SolarCycle a contracted volume of end-of-life panels that will help to scale its recycling operations and build out a domestic supply chain for solar manufacturing and assembling.
“By committing to this exclusive, multi-year partnership with SolarCycle, we’ve created a cost reduction roadmap that aligns with Greenbacker’s long-term owner-operator mindset,” said Jared Porpiglia, vice president of procurement at Greenbacker. “Greenbacker is receiving access to advanced solar panel recycling at cost-effective rates because we’re helping SolarCycle hit the scale needed to extract and sell even more value from each recycled panel — all while furthering our mission to empower a sustainable world.”
SolarCycle’s proprietary technology allows for the extraction of 95% of the value from recycled panels, including silver, silicon, copper, aluminum and glass from recycled panels, a significant increase over the industry standard — which is currently below 50%.
SolarCycle will be employing tailored recycling solutions at a number of Greenbacker assets across the country, including two of Greenbacker’s largest solar projects in New York, the utility-scale Albany 1 and Albany 2 projects (both 25 MWDC).
“At SolarCycle, we have a technology platform, world-class operations, and a cost-reduction roadmap that is making it an obvious choice for the world’s largest solar companies to recycle. This exclusive, long-term partnership with Greenbacker provides our team with further assurances to add more factory capacity and reach economies of scale sooner,” said Jesse Simons, chief commercial officer and co-founder of SolarCycle. “As we grow and secure additional exclusive partnerships with sustainability-minded companies like Greenbacker, the cost of advanced recycling becomes increasingly attractive. We are grateful for the trust and long-term partnership of Greenbacker, whose leadership will ensure that solar only grows more sustainable in the next few decades.”
In 2022, the DOE committed to supporting the industry through R&D to cut the cost of recycling in half by 2030. This past May, the department awarded SolarCycle with a grant to study cost reduction strategies specific to mining and refining the metals from an old panel to make a new panel. Current estimates from SolarCycle’s Texas facility have shown that 1 watt of recycled solar can be transformed into 1.4 new watts, which suggests that America will be able to endlessly recycle old panels into new panels.
News item from SolarCycle