Sunrun pledges to recycle solar panels with Solarcycle – pv magazine USA

Startup Solarcycle uses second-life panels from Sunrun to develop new ways to test, reuse and recycle solar panels retired from Sunrun’s project portfolio.

Today, Solarcycle launches its new technology-driven recycling platform with Sunrun as its first partner.

Northern California-based Solarcycle was founded this year by industry experts from leading institutions such as Solaria, NEXTracker, Sierra Club and the University of New South Wales. The company offers owners of solar assets a process to recycle decommissioned solar panels and technologies and reallocate them to new uses.

Solarcycle’s first partner, Sunrun, is a provider of solar home services, battery storage and energy. According to Suvi Sharma, CEO of Solarcycle, Sunrun has more than 4 GW under management and already has several megawatts of end-of-life panels. Recycling and reusing Sunrun’s used panels will pave the way for a scalable solution that will be available to the entire industry by the end of the year, Solarcycle reports.

Solar is expected to grow exponentially in the United States, increasing the number of solar panels ready to be removed at the end of use. Needless to say, many people, including 7-year-old Neil, are worried about what will happen to the solar panels at the end of their life. This concern is real and growing and is the subject of many studies around the world. For example, researchers at the National Renewable Energy Lab have studied how to recycle and reuse solar panels and have published research describing how to motivate the market to first reuse solar panels and then recycle them by guiding national industrial policy to create financial savings. viable end-of-life solar panel industry. The researchers’ projections showed that 40% of all solar panels could be reused and recycled using subsidies equal to $18 per panel for 12 years. At this price, a profitable and sustainable solar panel recycling industry could be established by 2032.

“As Sunrun deploys photovoltaic systems at the scale needed to address the climate crisis, we have assumed the responsibility and opportunity to manage the full life cycle of our hardware,” said Mary Powell, CEO of Sunrun. . “We are committed to building sustainable end-of-life processes and are thrilled to partner with an innovative company that shares our vision and is dedicated to creating a circular supply chain for the solar industry.”

Solarcycle has designed a recycling solution that the company claims can recover more than 95% of vital materials that can be reused. “By vertically integrating our operations into a plant capable of processing gigawatts of solar energy per year, we can radically reduce the costs and climate impacts of the recycling process,” said Pablo Dias, co-founder and CTO of Solarcycle.

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