Wagga business Solar Professionals has been awarded a $946,000 grant to develop and commission what is believed to be a "first of its kind" automated recycling plant in Australia that could separate raw materials.
Solar Professionals managing director Daniel Kimber said that when in operation, all raw materials and components from ageing solar panels could be recovered without cross contamination.
The grant was awarded under the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Circular Solar Trials grants program and will offer the Wagga business new and existing technology pioneered by Anderson Services in collaboration with Deakin University.
"Our partners Deakin University are in the early stages of trialing the technology," Mr Kimber said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
"At this stage the trials are looking promising and hopefully will lead into the construction of the semi-automated plant, which we hope will be operational by the end of 2022 - it will be a major benefit to the environment.
"Solar Professionals will have to put in a significant amount to match the $960,000 investment and hopefully it'll start to be built in the next two months.
"Our investment in this new development is intended to future-proof the management of the growing waste stream in Australia, which the International
"Energy Agency (IEA) forecasts will be one of the most significant accumulated photovoltaic (PV) waste streams in the world by 2030.
"It is estimated that approximately 100,000 tonnes of PV panels will enter the waste stream by 2035 Australia-wide, including approximately 30,000 tonnes in NSW."
Mr Kimber said the major difference with the new recycling technology is the hope of being able to delaminate glass from silicon cells.
"There is no cross contamination of raw materials such as silicon, glass, silver aluminium, ethylene vinyl acetate (EVA) and Tedlar (material which features high weather-resistance)," he said.
"All raw components will be again used across a wide range of industries.
"We have partnered with leading glasshouse manufacturer Apex Glasshouses to reuse the glass component from the solar module recycling process."
Mr Kimber said additional jobs would be a result of the new recycling plant being established.
"We expect to employ 5-10 staff to operate the recycling plant and there will also be jobs In receiving and warehousing panels," he said.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can continue to access our trusted content: