Australian utility plans to enter solar panel recycling, reuse business

Australian energy major AGL is pushing ahead with plans to transform its Loy Yang power station site into a clean energy industrial hub in the Australian state of Victoria. It has signed a deal with Solar Recovery Corp. (SRC) to explore the feasibility of establishing a PV panel recycling facility at the site.

From pv magazine Australia

AGL has signed an agreement with Melbourne-based SRC to conduct a feasibility study into establishing a facility to remanufacture end-of-life solar panels at the Latrobe Valley site.

SRC is the Australian-owned partner of La Mia Energia, an Italian consortium which has developed a panel recycling process it claims can recover up to 99% of raw materials from of all types of end-of-life solar panels.

The feasibility study will look at establishing a facility to remanufacture end-of-life solar panels at AGL’s planned Latrobe Valley Energy Hub. The study will also explore training and employment opportunities for the local community to build the new skillsets required for the energy and manufacturing industries of the future.

AGL announced last year that it will shut the 2,210 MW coal-fired Loy Yang A power station in 2035, a decade earlier than previously planned, as it seeks to develop 12 GW of renewable and firming capacity by 2036.

The company has since outlined plans to transform the Loy Yang site into an integrated, low-carbon industrial energy hub dominated by a 200 MW/800 MWh battery energy storage system. It is also exploring proposals for floating solar developments, electrothermal solar storage, and hydrogen supply chain facilities.

SRC will be the first manufacturing supply chain focussed organisation to explore being part of the transformation of the Loy Yang site and AGL Chief Operating Officer Markus Brokhof said the MOU marks an important first step in the site’s transition.

“It’s clear that the world is changing, and so is AGL,” he said. “We are proud to be supporting SRC’s mission to find new ways to deal with end-of-life solar PV panels.”

Brokhof said AGL will also recycle its end-of-life solar panels at the company’s facilities as looks to build a circular economy.

SRC Chairman Rob Gell said the signing of the deal aligns with the company’s ambitions to ensure solar generation lives up to the promise of providing clean energy throughout its life cycle.

“SRC was founded as part of a circular solution for end-of-life solar PV panels and to repurpose the materials for manufacturing industries,” he said. “It feels fitting that we are working with AGL as part of their ambition to reimagine the end-of-site transformation of AGL Loy Yang into a cleaner low-carbon hub.”

This post appeared first on PV Magazine.

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