AGL to undertake solar recycling feasibility study at the Hunter Energy Hub

The Hunter Energy Hub is slated to become a low carbon, integrated energy hub based on circular economy principles, encompassing renewable energy generation, grid-scale batteries, green advanced manufacturing, and related industries.

Solar panel broken

AGL and Elecsome are moving forward with a plan to develop a solar panel recycling and solar cable manufacturing plant at the Hunter Energy Hub, located at Bayswater e-Recycling Precinct. The companies have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to undertake a feasibility study to determine the requirements for the project's development, construction, and operation.

Travis Hughes, General Manager of Energy Hubs at AGL, commented on the progress, stating, “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 realized, the recycling facility would mark Elecsome’s first commercial-scale solar panel recycling operation in New South Wales, potentially processing up to 500,000 solar panels annually. Elecsome has developed a technology that converts the glass from solar panels, which constitutes over 70% of their composition, into a pre-mixed concrete called SolarCrete. This product is intended for use in construction, such as for driveways and footpaths, and will be part of the feasibility study.

In addition to the recycling facility, the project includes the construction of a solar cable manufacturing plant expected to produce up to 20,000 kilometers of solar cable per year. This cable will be used in residential, commercial, and utility-scale solar installations.

The proposed plants are anticipated to create around 20 jobs during the two-year construction phase and approximately 50 jobs once operational. The feasibility study will also explore a second stage of the recycling facility focused on extracting high-value materials, such as silicon wafers, electric conductors, silver, copper, and aluminum frames for reuse in various industries.

Elecsome CEO, Neeraj Das, expressed enthusiasm for the collaboration, stating, “We are thrilled to join the Hunter Energy Hub and contribute to the journey toward net zero, while also advancing resource recovery and onshore manufacturing.”

To read more about Elecsome and their recycling technology, go to their website here.

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