Governor signs Shewmake’s solar panel recycling extension bill

OLYMPIA – Today, Gov. Jay Inslee signed into law a bipartisan bill, HB 1393, introduced by state Rep. Sharon Shewmake (D-Bellingham) to give solar panel manufacturers more time to submit a plan to the state Department of Ecology for recycling solar panels.

Under the bill, manufacturers will have until July 1, 2024, two additional years, to submit recycling plans to the state Ecology Department, which runs the Photovoltaic Module Stewardship and Takeback Program. This program requires manufacturers to give the public a convenient, safe and environmentally sound way to recycle solar panels.

“Solar energy is critical to addressing climate change and moving to a low-carbon economy. But solar panels are bulky, delicate and can have a long life even after being taken down from your rooftop, so using the same recycling system as we use for soda cans or even electronics is going to be different. Manufacturers need more time to get it right,” Shewmake said.

“This extension will give manufacturers the time they need to make sure we’re responsible stewards of these resources, while not hampering solar panel production and making it more difficult to achieve our climate goals,” she added.