Solar Panel Takeback Program

Environmental Advocates Support this Bill

Explanation: 

This bill keeps solar panels out of landfills by requiring solar panel manufacturers who sell panels in New York to establish collection programs.

New York State is committed to generating more electricity from renewable energy sources. The Clean Energy Standard, promoted by Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision (REV) initiative, requires that half of New York State’s electricity be generated by renewable sources by 2030. Solar plays an important role as a viable energy resource for both large-scale developers and residential customers. Programs like NY-Sun and the Solarize campaign aim to help increase the share of solar generated electricity in New York by providing information and resources to increase affordability.

It is important to proactively plan now for the recycling and disposal of solar panels when they reach the end of their product life.

This legislation requires solar panel manufacturers to set up collection programs to properly dispose of “out-of-service” solar panels – that is, panels that have been removed, replaced, or otherwise taken out of service. Under these programs, customers and contractors will be able to look on the Department of Environmental Conservation website to find a collection site near them and take their solar panels to the collection site, free of charge. Solar panel retailers and wholesalers can serve as collection sites, but the programs will be funded by the manufacturers.

Solar power is a clean, renewable source of energy, and this bill will make the disposal of out-of-service solar panels clean, too.

Summary: 

This bill amends article 27 of the environmental conservation law by adding a new title 31, the Solar Panel Collection Act. It also requires persons or contractors who replace a solar panel or demolish a building with solar panels on it to properly dispose of the solar panel in accordance with the new article 27.

Memo #: 

87