In significant move toward sustainability and responsible project management, Nautilus Solar Energy, LLC and Green Clean Solar announce their collaboration on a solar panel recycling effort for two community solar projects in Maine. The partnership underscores the commitment of both companies to ensure environmental responsibility from project inception through its end-of-life.

Damaged solar panels and waste, totaling 14.11 tons and comprising 512 modules, were removed from two recently constructed community solar sites in Fryeburg (6.9MW) and Wells (6.5MW). Rather than going to a landfill, the solar panels were diverted for recycling by Green Clean Solar. The recycling process ensures that valuable materials, like silicon, silver, and aluminum, are reclaimed. Moreover, recycling helps in reducing the environmental footprint of solar panel manufacturing, supporting the industry’s goal of being a truly sustainable energy source.

“Nautilus believes in a future where community solar isn’t just about producing green energy but also about reducing our carbon footprint. Partnering with Green Clean Solar on this initiative underscores this commitment and lays the foundation for how solar projects can be both sustainable and responsible,” said Sean Reaney, Vice President of Construction at Nautilus Solar Energy.

“We’re excited to have provided the crucial logistics, a stellar crew, and top-notch practices to back Nautilus Solar’s panel recycling. Beyond recycling, our hands-on approach empowered Nautilus to prioritize exceptional community solar in Maine, while we managed recycling. This collaboration showcases how industry leaders unite to ensure responsible solar panel end-of-life management. Our aligned values for a solar circular economy truly fueled this project’s success.” Emilie Oxel O’Leary, CEO & Owner of Green Clean Solar LLC.

Solar panels contain trace amounts of heavy metals that can be considered hazardous materials. While they pose a relatively low risk in landfills, there is a push both from within the industry and from its political opponents to hold it to a higher standard. In fact, recent legislation in Illinois called for establishing a renewable energy recycling task force to study end-of-life options for clean energy technologies. As the solar industry evolves, recycling technologies and processes are also advancing. Newer methods and better techniques are continually being developed to increase the efficiency, affordability, and effectiveness of solar panel recycling.

Every community solar project developed by Nautilus includes decommissioning terms to ensure that once the lease concludes, the solar system will be removed, and the site will be returned to its original state. As Nautilus and Green Clean Solar look forward to further collaborations, this recycling initiative sets a positive precedent for other organizations in the industry.

Nautilus Solar Energy and Green Clean Energy partner to recycle 14.11 tons (512 modules) of damaged solar panels and waste from two recently constructed community solar farms in Fryeburg (6.9MW) and Wells (6.5MW), Maine. The partnership underscores the commitment of both companies to ensure environmental responsibility from project inception through its end-of-life.

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