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California innovators pursue PV module recycling hub

US start-up Solarcycle has raised US$ 30 million (EUR 28 million) to advance solar panel recycling. The California-based firm believes its proprietary technology can tackle this modern waste stream.

The investment will be used to grow the capacity of Solarcycle’s recycling plant in Texas from 500 000 to one million panels by the end of 2023, plus further R&D to fine tune best practice.

Solarcycle’s solution can return more than 95% of aluminium, glass, copper, silver and silicon to the domestic PV module value chain, according to company ceo and co-founder Suvi Sharma. He insists secondary raw materials are vital in building a sustainable and scalable solar industry that relies less on overseas supply chains.

Sharma estimates around 500 million solar panels have been installed across the country and expects at least one million units to be added in the next five years.

The new funds follow US$ 7 million raised since the company’s launch at the start of last year. Current investors include Fifth Wall and HG Ventures as well as the Urban Innovation Fund and Closed Loop Partners.

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