Sumitomo Corporation to Launch a Demonstration Experiment to Promote the Reuse and Recycling of Used Solar Panels

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Sumitomo Corporation (Sumitomo), Sumitomo Mitsui Finance & Leasing Co., Ltd. (SMFL), SMFL Mirai Partners Co., Ltd. (SMFL Mirai Partners), ARBIZ Corporation (ARBIZ), and SMART Corporation (SMART) announced on March 28, 2024, that they had signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to commence a demonstration experiment aiming to establish a reuse and recycling business for used solar panels.

The five companies aim to build a sustainable solar panel supply chain. During the demonstration experiment, they will focus on securing used solar panels and establishing sales channels for second-life panels and recycled materials.

The roles of each company are as follows:

  • Sumitomo: Project management, collection of used solar panels, and establishment of sales channels for second-life panels
  • SMFL/SMFL Mirai Partners: Provision of discarded solar panels
  • ARBIZ: Transportation/storage of discarded solar panels and works associated with reuse and recycling
  • SMART: Dismantling and removal of solar panels

Solar panel reuse and recycling involve several challenges, such as securing used panels and creating demand for second-life panels and recycled materials. Some main reasons for decommissioning solar panels include repowering, dismantling buildings, and natural disasters. Because solar panels are removed irregularly in various locations, finding retired panels can be challenging for stakeholders involved in the reuse and recycling business. Moreover, creating demand and processing a high volume of solar panels are essential to turn solar reuse and recycling into economically viable businesses. The five companies’ efforts to establish a sustainable solar panel supply chain could help address these issues.

Press Release (Japanese)