Module recycling facility to locate in DeForest, WI

Posted on November 30, 2009. Filed under: Economic development, Solar |


From an article by Stuart Weinberg in the Wall Street Journal:

TORONTO (Dow Jones)–5N Plus Inc. (VNP.T) has leased a 60,000-square-foot facility in DeForest, Wisc. where it plans to recycle solar modules.

The company was granted a conditional permit by the Board of Trustees of Deforest to use the facility for “photovoltaic module operations using chemical processing,” according to a transcript of a Sept. 8 board meeting.

5N’s initial plans call for the treatment of coated soda-lime glass contained in end-of-life solar modules and solar-module-production rejects. In a description of the project submitted to the town, the company said it expects to treat about 10,000 tons in the first phase of the project. It said that figure will increase as demand from its customers increases. In the project’s second phase, which will begin within 12 months after moving into the plant, the company plans to recycle fully laminated solar modules. The plant will initially have 17 employees.

5N, based in Montreal, is best known for its production of cadmium telluride, or CdTe, a key raw material used in thin-film solar panels. The company’s largest customer is First Solar Inc. (FSLR), which accounted for 85% of 5N’s first-quarter revenue.

5N’s recycling initiative in DeForest could represent an effort to reduce its reliance on First Solar by adding a new revenue stream, said National Bank Financial’s Rupert Merer. A First Solar spokesman said the company has no involvement in the project. “There’s no connection between the Wisconsin facility and the First Solar business,” First Solar’s Alan Bernheimer told Dow Jones.

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