Silfab Solar to use Domestic Recycled Glass

Silfab Solar strengthens its U.S. Solar supply chain with domestic recycled glass partnership.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Silfab Solar strengthens its U.S. Solar supply chain with domestic recycled glass partnership. Photo by American Public Power Association on Unsplash

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Silfab Solar strengthens its U.S. Solar supply chain with domestic recycled glass partnership.

In a move to bolster the American solar supply chain and advance sustainability objectives, Silfab Solar, North America’s leading solar panel manufacturer, has struck a deal to purchase ultra-low carbon domestic glass from SOLARCYCLE for its U.S.-made modules.

The announcement comes as Silfab Solar expands its North American production footprint, including a new 1 gigawatt cell factory and 1.3 gigawatt module factory soon opening in South Carolina. SOLARCYCLE recently revealed plans to build a first-of-its-kind facility in Georgia to produce solar glass made from recycled materials recovered from retired solar panels.

“Utilizing American-produced glass in our PV modules further meets the country’s demands for USA content in made-in-America clean energy products and creates additional U.S. jobs,” said Paolo Maccario, Silfab Solar’s President and CEO. “SOLARCYCLE is an ideal partner because of its demonstrated success and innovative processes that already have made Silfab a more sustainable operation.”

The new solar glass factory will be located about 300 miles from Silfab Solar’s South Carolina plant, helping to significantly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from transporting the heavy glass material. SOLARCYCLE estimates that domestically produced recycled glass will lower the climate impact of manufacturing solar panels by over 30% compared to conventional glass.

“This marks a significant step in securing an integrated and reliable supply chain for solar made in America,” said Suvi Sharma, co-founder and CEO of SOLARCYCLE. “We are grateful to Silfab for modeling leadership with their deep commitment to advancing sustainability and emissions reductions.”

The partnership builds on Silfab Solar’s existing relationship with SOLARCYCLE in recycling older solar panels. Among its sustainability initiatives, Silfab also recycles materials leftover from its production processes and conducts rigorous quality testing to provide an industry-leading 25-year warranty on its modules.

See also: Solar Panel Recycling is the Ultimate Sustainable Solution.

“Delivering clean energy means producing the highest-performing and most durable solar modules under the strongest environmental standards,” said Ted Ferguson, Silfab Solar’s Director of Sustainability. “Sustainability has been embedded in our operations since the company’s inception over 40 years ago.”

The deal represents a strategic effort by Silfab Solar to reinforce its American supply chain for key components as it scales up domestic solar manufacturing. The company already has state-of-the-art facilities in Washington state and Ontario, and its new South Carolina factories will significantly increase Silfab’s U.S. production capacity.

Securing a regional source of sustainable glass from SOLARCYCLE helps Silfab reduce its reliance on imported glass and the emissions from transporting it over long distances. It also taps into the emerging solar panel recycling market that SOLARCYCLE is pioneering.

“We’re thrilled Silfab will anchor our new domestic glass manufacturing with its purchase commitment,” Sharma said. “It’s a great example of companies partnering to create more integrated and sustainable solar supply chains here in America.”

As the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act has supercharged demand for American-made solar products, Silfab and others are racing to ramp up U.S. production while minimizing environmental impacts. Solar manufacturers have faced criticism over their environmental footprint, including energy-intensive production processes and difficulties recycling panels at the end of their decades-long lifecycle.

“This partnership allows us to be more sustainable in our operations and the full lifecycle of our products,” Ferguson stated. “It’s an important step toward maximizing the environmental benefits of solar power.”

The solar industry has set ambitious goals to accelerate recycling and circularity, aiming to recover over 90% of raw materials from decommissioned panels by 2030. With its domestic glass recycling and production capabilities, SOLARCYCLE is positioning itself as a linchpin enabling that transition within America’s growing solar sector.

For Silfab Solar, ranked by SolarReviews as a top choice among consumers for its product reliability and decades of manufacturing premium solar modules, the SOLARCYCLE collaboration helps cement its role as an industry sustainability leader as it expands made-in-America solar production.

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