French consortium commissions solar module recycling facility


From pv magazine France

French recycling group Soren (formerly PV Cycle France) and Envie 2E Aquitaine have inaugurated a recycling center for PV modules in Saint-Loubès, France. Envie 2E Aquitaine was selected following a call for tenders launched by Soren.

The €2 million ($1.9 million) plant will be able to process 4,000 tons of panels per year and will employ 25 people. The facility is the first of its kind in Europe, as it uses a hot blade delamination process. This makes it possible to recover flat glass and isolate the polymer layer containing the cells, rather than relying on grinding, which is the main process used in recycling plants.

The technology comes from Japan-based NPC Incorporated. The consortium claims the plant will make it possible to recycle 95% of the materials used in solar panels.

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“This extends the lifecycle of the components. It is a way of considering recycling no longer as a way of recycling waste but as a way of producing raw materials,” said Nicolas Defrenne, the director of Soren.

Soren launched a tender in February 2021 to set up three new facilities to recycle solar panels in France. Two of the installations have been in service since June 2021.

*The article was updated on Oct. 4 to add that NPC Incorporated is the supplier of the hot blade delamination technology.

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