Fukuoka Prefecture to Launch a PoC to Test Second-life Solar Panels

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Fukuoka Prefecture announced that it will commence a proof-of-concept (PoC) on February 9, 2024 to test the power generation efficiency of second-life solar panels and to evaluate the profitability of PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) projects using second-life panels.

Sixty-seven second-life solar panels, previously used for five to ten years, have been installed at a furniture manufacturer’s studio in Okawa City. Generated power will be used within the building through a PPA. In addition to demonstrating power generation, this project will examine low-cost methods to evaluate the reusability of used solar panels and efficient transportation methods. Through this PoC, the prefecture aims to develop a Fukuoka Prefecture Model, low-cost and highly reliable methods for reusing solar panels, and to promote the reuse of solar panels within the prefecture.

In the fiscal year 2018, Fukuoka Prefecture, in collaboration with the Fukuoka Research Commercialization Center for Recycling Systems, established a council to promote solar panel recycling and has since been working on initiatives such as the development of a “Smart Collection System of Solar Panel Waste.”

Since the fiscal year 2023, the prefecture has embarked on a project with power generation operators (PPA operators), maintenance operators, collection and transportation operators, and recycling operators to promote the reuse of used solar panels that are still capable of generating electricity.

Fukuoka is also home to Kitakyushu Eco-Town, one of Japan’s first five government-approved Eco Towns and the hub for renewable energy and recycling companies. Among them, Recycle Tech Co., Ltd. has been developing solar panel recycling technology.

With its continuous efforts, Fukuoka could become one of Japan’s first prefectures to develop a regional model to circulate solar panels locally. It would be interesting to see the progress of the prefecture’s ongoing solar panel reuse and recycling initiatives.

Press Release (Japanese)