AES Corporation signs solar panel recycling deal with Solarcycle

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US-based energy company AES Corporation has signed an agreement with Solarcycle, a solar recycling company, to recycle and repurpose modules from AES’ projects at Solarcycle’s Texas facility. Solar panels are composed of large amounts of aluminium and silica.

AES Corporation signs solar panel recycling deal with Solarcycle

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The agreement formalizes the collaboration between the two companies. This partnership began in April when decommissioned panels from an AES plant in Arizona were recycled at Solarcycle’s Odessa, Texas location. AES has also announced a pilot program to assess end-of-life and construction breakage waste across its solar PV portfolio.

Unlike other materials, aluminium can be recycled repeatedly, creating a circular economy. Solar panels are also the epitome of an eco-friendly lifestyle. What metal can do more justice to the sustainability cause laid down by the companies?

The president of AES Clean Energy, Leo Moreno, stated: “To strengthen US energy security, we must continue to support domestic supply chains. As one of the world’s leading energy solution providers, AES is committed to sustainable business practices that accelerate these goals. This agreement is an important step in building a vibrant secondary market for end-of-life solar materials and getting us closer to a true domestic circular solar economy.”

Solarcycle aims to establish a circular solar economy in the US by focusing on high-value recycling of components such as silver and aluminium, alongside bulk recycling of glass and silicon.

The Department of Energy recently awarded Solarcycle US$1.5 million to continue research and development (R&D) into their recycling technology.

The CEO and co-founder of Solarcycle, said Suvi Sharma, narrated: “As demand for solar energy grows rapidly in the United States, it is critical to have proactive leaders like AES who are committed to developing a more sustainable and domestic supply chain for the solar industry.”

A report by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) revealed that approximately 90% of decommissioned solar panels in the US currently go unrecycled, with the majority ending up in landfills.

Recycled 2026

However, if a circular economy is established, recycled panels could meet around 25-40% of the US domestic demand by 2040.

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