Iberdrola, FCC Ámbito to collaborate on solar panel recycling  


Spanish energy giant Iberdrola has announced plans to collaborate with commercial waste management company FCC Ámbito on efforts to promote the industrial-scale recycling of solar panels.

Iberdrola said in a statement that the companies will monitor and potentially apply new treatment technologies to enhance the industrial recovery capacity of PV modules. They also plans to explore the reuse of secondary raw materials obtained during treatment processes to ensure the 100% recyclability of solar panels.

Iberdrola said their efforts will ensure ideal positioning for panel recycling at end of life. Álvaro Portellano, the head of Iberdrola’s Perseo Venture Builder unit, noted the company's commitment to recycling all facility components.

“This strategic agreement is a continuation of our efforts in the search for the best technologies for the recovery of the resources contained in waste in order to incorporate them back into production processes,” added María Jesús Kaifer, FCC Ámbito’s technical director and head of circular economy. “The recycling of photovoltaic panels is another project that we are tackling together with a leading company in its sector, Iberdrola.”

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In 2022, FCC Ámbito and Iberdrola jointly launched EnergyLoop, a company focused on the recycling of wind turbine blades. 

FCC Ámbito recently inaugurated an industrial PV panel treatment plant in Cadrete, Spain, and is currently leading PV4INK R&D&I, a project aimed at recovering the silver contained in solar panels. Iberdrola, meanwhile, is participating in the European RETRIEVE project, which is working on flexible recovery technologies for each main component of PV panels, particularly silicon.

In 2023, Iberdrola completed Spain’s first hybrid wind-solar plant and announced plans to open a PV module factory and install the country’s first hybrid hydroelectric-solar plant.

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