For EU and pre-2013 sales customers, First Solar implements an unconditional, prefunded Collection and Recycling Program for damaged and end-of-life modules.
- Funding: With the sale of each module, First Solar sets aside sufficient funds to meet the estimated future collection and recycling costs of its modules. These funds are put into custodial accounts in the name of a Trustee. Only the Trustee can distribute the funds and these funds cannot be accessed for any purpose other than for administering module collection and recycling.
- Registration: The original module owner is required to register their installation with First Solar. Installation records are used to optimize the design of the Module Collection and Recycling Program
- Notice: Individual modules are labeled with website and telephone contact information, along with the information for the owner on how to return the end-of-life module.
- Collection: First Solar manages the logistics of collecting each module and provides packaging and transportation to the recycling center.
- Recycling: Approximately 90 percent (by mass) of each collected First Solar PV module is recycled into new products, including new solar modules. All recycling processes are conducted in accordance with local environmental, health, safety and waste management regulations.
- Improvement: The program, including the financing structure, is audited periodically by an independent third party to ensure it is achieving its goals and to identify areas for continuous improvement.