Australian energy company AGL is pushing ahead with plans to turn its Loy Yang power plant into a clean energy industrial hub in the Australian state of Victoria. It has signed an agreement with Solar Recovery Corp. (SRC) to explore the possibility of setting up a solar panel recycling facility at the site.
AGL has signed an agreement with Melbourne-based SRC to conduct a feasibility study to establish a facility to remanufacture end-of-life solar panels in the Latrobe Valley region.
SRC is the Australian-owned partner of La Mia Energia, an Italian consortium that has developed a panel recycling process that it claims can recover up to 99% of the raw materials from all types of end-of-life solar panels.
The feasibility study examines the establishment of a facility for the remanufacturing of end-of-life solar panels at AGL’s planned Latrobe Valley Energy Centre. The study also investigates the local community’s training and employment opportunities in order to build the new skills required by the future energy and manufacturing industry.
AGL announced last year that it would close the 2,210MW coal-fired Loy Yang A plant in 2035, a decade earlier than previously planned, as it aims to develop 12GW of renewable and booster capacity by 2036.
The company has since put forward plans to transform the Loy Yang site into an integrated low-carbon industrial energy center dominated by a 200MW/800MWh battery energy storage system. It will also explore proposals for floating solar developments, electrothermal solar energy storage and hydrogen supply chains.
SRC is the first organization focused on the manufacturing supply chain to explore being part of the transformation of the Loy Yang plant, and AGL chief operating officer Markus Brokhof said the MOU is an important first step in the transformation of the site.
“It’s clear the world is changing and so is AGL,” he said. “We are proud to support SRC’s mission to find new ways to process spent solar panels.”
Brokhof said AGL also recycles decommissioned solar panels at the company’s premises to build a circular economy.
SRC Chairman Rob Gell said the signing of the contract is in line with the company’s ambitions to ensure that solar power generation fulfills its promise to provide clean energy throughout its life cycle.
“SRC was established as part of a circular solution for end-of-life solar panels and material reuse for the manufacturing industry,” he said. “It feels fitting that we partner with AGL as part of their ambition to reimagine AGL Loy Yang as a cleaner, low-carbon hub.”