I applaud movement by NREL to track the disposition of some 800 million metric tons (currently) of solar panels as they near end-of-life. NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory) is leading research around floating photovoltaic (FPV) development in North America. Part of this is taking a realistic look at the longevity of FPV. The panels include valuable forms of silica and other precious materials that represent recycling opportunities associated with their 30-year design life.
Recent movement towards floating photovoltaic installations makes development of effective solar recycling policy particularly critical. Also, assuring the longevity of FPV. We can’t have potentially toxic materials contaminating precious waterways, particularly hydroelectric reservoirs that are frequently used as drinking water sources.
Floating Island International (FII) currently targets a sixty-year design life of its floating treatment wetland modules, BioHavens, some 9,000 of which have been launched since 2005. Our movement towards an extended usable life of our proprietary floating islands primarily used to increase natural wetland effect associated with improved water quality, may facilitate useful life extension for solar panels as well. Longevity of FPV could be extended by including our BioHaven technology in the design plan.
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