This project is a NSW Environment Protection Authority initiative funded from the Circular Solar Trials program.
PV Industries: Circular Solar Trial
A project funded by the New South Wales Environment Protection Authority
This week, PV Industries announced their Circular Solar Trial. The project brings together a collaborative and industry-led approach to develop solar panel recycling and end-of-life solutions for the solar and lithium-ion battery economies. This project has been funded under the NSW Environment Protection Authority’s (EPA) Circular Solar grants program.
The EPA is supporting this project through its Circular Solar Grants Program with funding of $997,969.
PV Industries is the leading solar panel recycling and resource recovery company in Australia.
They have brought together a strong project team that is uniquely placed to address challenges facing the industry, including: John Holland, the Institute for Sustainable Futures at the University of Technology Sydney, the University of New South Wales, and the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO).
The team is supported by a strong network of project partners including: NSW Circular, the City of Newcastle, the Hunter Joint Organisation, the Canberra Region Joint Organisation, Maoneng, Spark Renewables and Greentech Sydney.
The project, which commenced in early 2021, will improve safe handling and transport procedures, establish a collection and logistics network for urban and regional NSW, optimise solar panel recycling and processing techniques, develop new end-markets for recovered materials and enable future market opportunities for reuse.
“Our team is excited to be working on this important initiative which will address a rapidly growing waste issue for NSW,” says Timothy Dawson, CEO of PV Industries.
”We have been working closely with the solar industry for a few years now and this project will support the industry as it continues to grow.”
The project will continue to increase diversion of solar panel waste from landfill, stimulate economic activity, and demonstrate the business case for a safe and sustainable circular solar and battery economy in NSW.
“The funding has allowed us to rapidly expand our capabilities and services available to industry in NSW and Australia,” says James Petesic, Co-Founder of PV Industries.
Research shows solar as an area of waste is only expected to grow in the coming years, with solar panels reaching end-of-life after 10 years; 88,000 small-scale solar installations in NSW are already over 10 years old; by 2035 around 30,000 tonnes of solar panels in NSW will need to be recycled or otherwise disposed of.
“The EPA’s Circular Solar Grants program is directly focused on finding solutions to the emerging solar panel waste stream,” said Kristie Brown, Director of Circular Economy Programs, NSW EPA.
“It’s a program that supports the type of trials proposed by PV Industries – collaborative ‘whole of supply chain’ projects that provide innovative solutions to manage end-of-life solar panels and battery systems. It’s all part of building the circular economy of the future in NSW.”
You can help support this project by taking part in the industry survey which will identify barriers and opportunities for a circular solar economy in NSW and Australia. Click here participate in the survey. The survey will close on 20 May 2022.
This program was made possible thanks to funding from the NSW EPA’s Circular Solar grants program.
 UTS Institute of Sustainable Futures and Equilibrium Consulting, Scoping study for photovoltaic panel and battery system reuse and recycling fund.
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