AGL studies solar recycling, cable manufacturing for Hunter

Sun shines on tiled roof with solar panels (ausgrid microgrid)
Image: Shutterstock

AGL and Elecsome will conduct a feasibility study for the establishment of a solar panel recycling plant and solar cable manufacturing plant at AGL’s Hunter Energy Hub Bayswater e-Recycling Precinct.

The feasibility study will determine the engineering and infrastructure requirements as well as the key environmental and regulatory approvals required for the development, construction, and operation of both facilities.

Related article: AGL explores battery recycling for Hunter Energy Hub

If developed, the recycling plant would be Elecsome’s first commercial-scale solar panel recycling facility in NSW, and is expected to upcycle up to 500,000 residential and grid-scale solar panels per year.

The company has also developed a patented technology to use the glass, which makes up over 70% of a solar panel, to create SolarCrete—a pre-mixed concrete that can be used in construction activities such as for driveways and footpaths. This product will form part of the feasibility study at the Hunter site.

The solar cable manufacturing plant is expected to produce up to 20,000km of solar cable per year and is expected to be used in residential and commercial solar installations, as well as utility scale solar farms.

AGL general manager energy hubs Travis Hughes said, “Since the closure of Liddell Power Station one year ago, we have signed MOUs that could bring battery recycling with Renewable Metals and solar panel manufacturing with SunDrive to the Hunter Energy Hub. Today we add solar panel recycling and solar cable manufacturing to that list of partners.

“If successful, the establishment of a solar panel recycling plant and solar cable manufacturing plant with Elecsome will mean we are hosting several parts of the solar energy value chain with both manufacturing and recycling of grid-scale and residential solar panels at the Hunter Energy Hub.

“These partnerships have the potential to make a significant contribution to the economy of the Upper Hunter by creating new jobs in the renewable energy sector.”

Related article: AGL and SunDrive explore solar manufacturing at Hunter Hub

Elecsome has successfully commissioned its first solar PV upcycling facility in Melbourne, where it transforms solar panels into new products used in the construction and manufacturing industries.

If the feasibility study is successful, a second stage of the recycling facility is planned to focus on the extraction of high-value materials for the Hunter Energy Hub.

Previous articleSparc Hydrogen progresses pilot plant development
Next articleNZ’s Lodestone to turn unproductive farmland into solar boon