Arizona — Qcells has announced it will partner with SOLARCYCLE to recycle the company’s decommissioned, owned and installed solar panels in the United States.

The announcement marks the first-of-its-kind partnership between a large solar manufacturer and an advanced solar recycler in the United States.

Working together, the companies will accelerate their shared vision of building a circular, clean energy supply chain that creates jobs and reduces U.S. reliance on imported, raw materials that are frequently subject to supply chain disruptions.

Recycled materials from Qcells’ panels, such as aluminum, 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’s patented technology extracts more than 95% of the value in a solar panel module, far above the current industry standard of around 50%.

q cells

Hanwha Qcells is a major manufacturer of photovoltaic cells. The company is headquartered in Seoul, South Korea, after being founded in 1999 in Bitterfeld-Wolfen, Germany, where the company still has its engineering offices.

Qcells operates the largest silicon-based solar panel factory in the United States, based in Dalton, Georgia. One in three solar panels installed on rooftops in America are made by Qcells, and its panels are consistently ranked as a favorite choice in the U.S. commercial solar market.

Qcells will work with SOLARCYCLE to recycle its own installed panels and will also refer Qcells’ customers to its trusted partner for their own recycling needs. The advanced recycler is experienced with Qcells’ products and can efficiently demanufacture its panels and the panels of Qcells’ customers who are looking to join the circular clean energy economy.

In January 2023, Qcells announced plans to invest more than $2.5 billion to build a complete and sustainable solar supply chain in the U.S., increasing production capacity to 8.4 gigawatts (GW) by 2024 and creating a total of 4,000 clean energy jobs.

SOLARCYCLE currently operates facilities in Odessa, Texas, and Mesa, Arizona – and has inked long-term partnerships with more than 40 of the nation’s largest solar energy companies. The company has hired nearly a hundred staff since it opened its doors in 2022. In the next few years, it plans to significantly expand its workforce beyond 700 high-quality jobs to meet demand for domestic supply chains and advanced recycling.

Today’s announcement also underscores Qcells’ steadfast commitment to sustainability. Working with SOLARCYCLE enables Qcells to recycle panels in an increasingly efficient and high-value manner, conserving more raw materials in the process.

“We are proud of the clean energy products we offer, but Qcells is committed to going further than that,” said Kelly Weger, Qcells’ Director of Sustainability. “We want our solar panels to not only help our customers cut costs and carbon, but also to be a part of building a more sustainable clean energy industry. Our partnership with SOLARCYCLE will give our panels a life after powering homes, businesses and communities, reducing waste and reusing pieces for all types of technology including solar.”

Today’s announcement marks the beginning of a deeper partnership between the two companies to fully close the loop on the solar circular economy.

“What is so exciting about this partnership with Qcells is how aligned we are on our common mission to build a circular economy for solar in America. When you look at the footprint of Qcells panels in commercial and residential solar across America, the impact of today’s partnership announcement is quite significant,” said Suvi Sharma, SOLARCYCLE’s CEO and co-founder. “Together, we can close the supply chain loop to ensure solar energy is manufactured and recycled in the U.S. using American labor and cutting-edge sustainability practices.”

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