Greenbacker Pens Long-Term Solar Recycling Partnership with Solarcycle

recycled solar panels

(Credit: Solarcycle)

by | Sep 11, 2023

recycled solar panels

(Credit: Solarcycle)

Independent power producer Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company has signed a long-term, exclusive partnership with solar recycling company Solarcycle to recycle decommissioned solar panels.

The deal provides Greenbacker, which has more than 975 megawatts of operating solar projects in its fleet, with a reliable recycling partner. Solarcycle, which is only in its second year of operation, gains a contracted volume of end-of-life panels that will help the company scale its recycling operations and build out a domestic supply chain for solar manufacturing and assembling. Solarcycle has been able to grow its operations through high-volume contracts, and it has deployed research and development to sell higher-purity materials back into the domestic supply chain.

The partnership comes as solar energy projects in the United States are gaining momentum thanks to incentives and funding opportunities provided in the Inflation Reduction Act, signed into law last year. The solar and storage industry in the United States has added $100 billion to the economy in the last year, according to a recent report.

Greenbacker said it chose Solarcycle as a recycling partner due to its rigorous sustainability and compliance goals for retired solar panels, including rapid testing for overall health and potential reuse of panels, low-cost, eco-friendly recycling to extract core materials, and advanced tracking and reporting of sustainability metrics, Greenbacker said.

“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,” Jared Porpiglia, vice president of procurement at Greenbacker, said in a statement. “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 technology can extract 95% of the value from recycled solar panels, well above the industry standard. High-value materials, such as silver, silicon, copper, aluminum and glass, can be extracted from the recycling process. 

Solarcycle will provide recycling solutions across Greenbacker’s assets, including the company’s two largest projects in New York, Albany 1 and Albany 2. Greenbacker has 500 assets across 33 states, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Washington, D.C., and Solarcycle will use the partnership as a model for the solar industry to build a low-cost and sustainable domestic circular supply chain in America.

“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,” Jesse Simons, chief commercial officer and co-founder of Solarcycle, said in a statement.  “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.”

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