February 22, 2024
A giant US solar panel maker just went all in on panel recycling

Photo: Solarcycle

Solar panels made at America’s largest silicon-based solar panel factory will now be recycled thanks to a new partnership.

The newly announced solar panel recycling agreement between Qcells and SolarCycle is the first partnership of its kind between a large solar panel manufacturer and an advanced solar recycler in the US.

Recycled materials from Qcells’ panels, such as aluminium, silver, copper, silicon and low-iron glass, will be reused in the domestic supply chain to manufacture the next generation of clean energy products. SOLARCYCLE says its patented solar panel recycling technology extracts more than 95% of the value in a single module. This is at the high-yield end of the current solar recycling industry standard – America’s largest solar company, First Solar, says it can recover 90% of the value.

Expected to reach 8.4 gigawatts (GW) of production capacity this year and create 4,000 jobs, Qcells’ facility in Dalton, Georgia, is the largest silicon-based solar panel factory in the US. It was also the first solar panel factory to be built after the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act.

In January 2023, the Seoul-headquartered company announced it would invest more than $2.5 billion to build America’s first full solar supply chain in Georgia – the largest investment ever in clean energy manufacturing in the US. This includes expanding the Dalton Solar factory and building a fully integrated solar supply chain factory in Cartersville, Georgia, which will manufacture solar ingots, wafers, cells and finished panels.

“When you look at the footprint of Qcells panels in commercial and residential solar energy across the US, the impact of today’s partnership announcement is significant,” said Suvi Sharma, CEO and co-founder of SolarCycle.

SOLARCYCLE currently operates recycling facilities in Odessa, Texas and Mesa, Arizona, and has long-term partnerships with more than 40 of America’s largest solar energy companies.

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Source: electrek.co

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