SOLARCYCLE finalises green deal with Ørsted to recycle its end-of-life solar panels

AL Circle

Ørsted, a prominent clean energy company, has entered into a new partnership with SOLARCYCLE, a technology-based solar recycling company, to recycle and process Ørsted's end-of-life solar modules from its projects across the United States.

SOLARCYCLE finalises green deal with Ørsted to recycle its end-of-life solar panels

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This recycling services agreement aligns with Ørsted's global commitment, effective immediately, to reuse or recycle 100% of solar panels that reach an end-of-life status. It's the first of its kind in the industry.

SOLARCYCLE established its recycling facility in Odessa, Texas, in 2022. This agreement builds on Ørsted's existing recycling contract for thin-film modules, which was signed with First Solar in 2021. Even though Ørsted's U.S. solar projects are still in the early stages of their lifetime, Ørsted has already recycled 4,000 modules. The SOLARCYCLE agreement provides a portfolio-wide recycling solution for crystalline silicon (c-Si) solar modules, ensuring that all of Ørsted's projects can be recycled.

The Group EVP and CEO of America at Ørsted, David Hardy, exclaimed: "Solar energy is an integral part of Ørsted's growing land-based portfolio and is one of the most powerful technologies we have to produce the clean energy our communities and business partners need. As a leader in sustainability, we are thrilled to work with such an innovative American company to ensure c-Si solar modules are disposed of properly and to support a company spearheading solutions on behalf of the solar industry. Not only does this advance sustainability for Ørsted and the industry, but it also strengthens the American renewable energy supply chain."

As the solar installation market continues to expand, the volume of end-of-life panels is expected to rise. Currently, less than 10% of all end-of-life modules are recycled in the United States, but new companies like SOLARCYCLE are using advanced technology to help the industry establish sustainable end-of-life management best practices.

Recycling solar modules can help create a domestic supply of materials needed to produce new solar panels, including glass, silicon, and valuable metals like silver, copper, and aluminium. This reduces waste and the need for mining raw materials that must be extracted and refined. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory found in 2022 that recycling can meet at least 25-30% of domestic solar manufacturing needs in the United States by 2040 for some materials. Previously we have seen SOLARCYCLE join hands with another green energy company, AES Corporation.

The CEO and Co-Founder of SOLARCYCLE, Suvi Sharma, spoke out: "Ørsted's 100 per cent commitment to recycling their solar projects in the U.S. and globally is notable and the first-of-its-kind. Their leadership is walking the walk, and we are grateful to collaborate with their team to meet their circular economy goals. Today's announcement also demonstrates that the industry no longer sees recycling as an afterthought, but it is rapidly becoming the norm to plan for end-of-life practices years in advance."

Sustainability

SOLARCYCLE recycles solar panels to extract 95% of their value. They assess panels for reuse and recycle the rest, removing valuable materials like aluminium and silicon while separating plastic from the solar modules. Aluminium is 100% recyclable and can retain its original properties even after undergoing complicated transformation. This promotes a circular use of resources and supports the U.S. solar manufacturing industry.

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