Silicon Ranch partners with Solarcycle to recycle used PV modules

A solar project from Silicon Ranch in the US. Image: Silicon Ranch.

Solar modules used in PV plants from independent power producer (IPP) Silicon Ranch will be recycled by Solarcycle as part of a new partnership between the US companies.

Launched earlier this year, Solarcycle said its approach to recycling recovers approximately 95% of PV panel value, which can be returned to the supply chain and used to manufacture new modules.

The collaboration will see Solarcycle process end-of-life modules from Silicon Ranch’s projects, while also enabling the former to establish a model for recycling solar materials at the utility scale.

With an operating portfolio of more than 145 solar power plants across 15 US states, Silicon Ranch is Solarcycle’s first utility-scale partner.

“Solarcycle’s team is taking what we learned in the solar, sustainability and recycling industries and applying it to our tech-driven recycling solutions,” said the company’s CEO, Suvi Sharma, who co-founded tracker manufacturer Nextracker and previously served as CEO of module supplier Solaria.

California-based Solarcycle announced a collaboration with Sunrun earlier this year to use second-life modules from the residential solar installer and to develop new ways to test, reuse and upcycle retired solar panels.

Having since raised US$6.6 million in growth funding, Solarcycle is currently setting up a module recycling facility that is scheduled to open in Q4.

For Tennessee-based Silicon Ranch, the deal comes after it secured US$775 million in equity capital at the beginning of the year. The IPP has since signed supply agreements with First Solar and Nextracker to improve the carbon footprint of its module and tracker supply.

“This partnership supports our commitments to advance domestic solar manufacturing, a circular solar economy and economic development opportunities in communities across the country,” said Reagan Farr, Silicon Ranch CEO. “We encourage others in the industry to join us in this meaningful endeavour.”

PV Tech Premium detailed earlier this year how Silicon Ranch has developed a programme alongside farmers and ranchers to deploy holistic land-use practices on solar projects across the US.

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