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Solar panel recycling startup nets $6.6M

Megan Hernbroth
Jun 2, 2022
Illustration of a solar panel with shapes and zoomed in sections of dollar bills.

Illustration: Gabriella Turrisi/Axios

SolarCycle, an Oakland, California, startup that wants to recycle and resell used solar panels, raised $6.6 million in seed funding at an undisclosed valuation, the company tells Axios.

Why it matters: The solar panel supply crunch is forcing companies to be creative, a development that is making room for a new crop of solar startups.

  • At the same time, the pause in solar panel imports to the U.S. is costing companies and investors billions of dollars, and companies like SolarCycle are seeking to capitalize on a solution.

What's happening: Urban Innovation Fund led the SolarCycle round, which also included Closed Loop Partners, SolarCity founders Peter and Lyndon Rive, plus SunPower CTO Tom Dinwoodie.

  • The round closed on May 6, SolarCycle CEO Suvi Sharma tells Axios.

How it works: SolarCycle wants to resell used solar panels to project managers and individual consumers.

  • Those that can't be resold will be recycled for parts, including metals such as silver, silicon and aluminum.
  • SolarCycle doesn't yet have an owned and operated recycling facility, but is currently operating a beta program with Sunrun.

💭 Our thought bubble: Depending on how the Commerce Department investigation of solar panel imports goes through the summer, SolarCycle may have a lot more customers lining up for reused panels or recycled parts than it can supply.

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