First Solar’s long-standing leadership in PV lifecycle management and recycling gives system owners confidence in knowing that their modules will be managed to sound and responsible global standards. First Solar pioneered the first global and comprehensive recycling program in the PV industry in 2005. Our state-of-the-art recycling facilities are operational at all our manufacturing plants and have a scalable capacity to accommodate high volume recycling as more modules reach the end of their 25+ year life. Our experience in recycling has allowed us to continuously improve processes, technology, and reduce operational costs.
Our proven, state-of-the-art recycling process achieves high recovery rates; up to 90% of the semiconductor material can be reused in new modules and 90% of the glass can be reused in new glass products.
*Cadmium and tellurium separation and refining are conducted by a third-party.
For pre-2013 sales customers, First Solar implements an unconditional prefunded Collection and Recycling Program for end-of-life modules. With the sale of each module, First Solar historically set aside sufficient funds to meet the estimated future collection and recycling costs of its modules. Individual modules are labeled with information for the owner on how to return the end-of-life module.