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  • Writer's pictureGreen Clean Solar

Intersolar Wrap Up 2023: Clean Energy + Battery Systems Takes the Spotlight

Updated: May 10, 2023

Welcome to Green Clean Solar's experience at Intersolar North America! The energy at the event was truly electric, and we kicked it off with a powerful speaker: The Honorable Shalanda H. Baker. As the Director of the Office of Economic Impact and Diversity at the U.S. Department of Energy and Secretarial Advisor on Equity, Baker's extensive experience and research on energy justice and the transition from fossil fuels to cleaner energy resources set the tone for the entire event.

Baker is a recognized expert in the field of energy policy and renewable energy development, having previously served as a Professor of Law, Public Policy, and Urban Affairs at Northeastern University. Her insights on renewable energy law, energy justice, and energy policy are invaluable to those who are passionate about the future of renewable energy. Besides the Green Clean Solar team, Intersolar attendees found Baker's talk to be informative and thought-provoking, setting the stage for a high-energy and exciting event.

At Green Clean Solar, we appreciated the opportunity to learn from Baker's vast experience and expertise. We were inspired by her commitment to supporting diversity in the energy economy, and we are thrilled to be part of the renewable energy movement. Here are some more updates on our experiences and insights from Intersolar.

The Solar Games

The Solar Games brought many opportunities to the Intersolar event. What each person got from watching installation teams compete in building a solar system will undoubtedly be personal and unique to their experience. This experience will create a solar bond to fieldwork, an essential element to Green Clean Solar owner and CEO Emilie Oxel O'Leary.

“People on the field do impressive work, then add weather conditions and outside environmental elements, bugs, heat, wind, etc., and it's truly impressive to witness," said Emilie. At the very least, the Solar Games brought a wow educational factor that will enhance off-the-field solar workers, whether the sales or marketing teams; the games bring a truly unique experience.

The Green Clean Solar team took some time to check out the action every day of the show and witnessed the innovative spirit of the industry from the teams competing for that $10,000 prize. Aloha Solar proved victorious at the finals.

Celebrating 1 Year of Green Clean Solar

We had a blast at Intersolar. One of the most exciting moments we’ll always cherish is celebrating our one-year anniversary of bringing scalable solar recycling solutions to solar sites across the country. As a pioneer in the solar waste management industry, we feel it’s important to grow the offering of our full-service waste diversion, recycling, and management of all waste from solar sites, not only solar panels. We discussed our unique approach to creating a bigger economy within the solar industry, dealing with end-of-life materials, and prioritizing sustainability. We are thrilled to be celebrating one year of leading the charge in this emerging field and can't wait to see what the future holds. Take advantage of the excitement - learn more about our anniversary and impact here!

Steel in Solar

Nucor, who was at the show, is a leading steel company, has committed to reducing its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions intensity by 35% by 2030. This ambitious target will result in Nucor's GHG emissions intensity being 77% less than the global steelmaking average.

Nucor was proud to share its usage of recycled scrap to produce high-quality steel with low emissions. By utilizing one of the cleanest and most energy-efficient steelmaking processes available, Nucor is able to minimize waste and energy use. The company is also committed to being a part of a circular economy, where materials are reused, and almost nothing is discarded.

Steel can be infinitely recycled and reused without any quality loss, and Nucor steel products are made from an average of 75.4% recycled content, with some products containing almost 100% recycled content. You can learn more about steel plants implementing solar here. In addition, the company recycles more than 90% of the dust from its electric arc furnaces (EAF). For over 50 years, Nucor has been making steel using an EAF that melts recycled scrap and turns it into new steel. This process is far less energy-intensive and more energy-efficient than traditional blast furnace steel making. It allows Nucor to produce fewer emissions than its competitors, who often make steel by melting iron ore and coking coal.

Nucor's commitment to sustainability extends beyond its production process. The company is also dedicated to renewable energy, investing in multiple virtual power purchase agreements to lower its carbon footprint. Nucor has invested in 250 MW of solar energy and 100 MW of wind energy, further solidifying its commitment to renewable energy sources.

Nucor is proud to be a part of a sustainable steel industry and is committed to being a good steward across North America. The company continues to find new and innovative ways to decrease its carbon footprint, showing what's possible when sustainability is at the forefront of a company's operations. We appreciated their participation in the show.

An increased interest in solar waste management

A final exciting trend we witnessed at the event was the growing interest in recycling among solar industry leaders. Many people our team spoke with expressed a desire to recycle materials used in their solar sites, and manufacturers are beginning to implement recycling programs to support this growing demand. This commitment to sustainability and responsible waste management is a positive development for the solar industry and will likely become even more critical in the years ahead.

There are a few reasons why there's an uptick of interest for EPCs (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) and utilities to recycle materials used in solar sites, including solar panels, batteries, wood crates, cardboard, and scrap metal.

The solar industry is proliferating, and with that growth comes an increase in the amount and types of waste materials generated. As solar installations become more common, the industry recognizes the need to manage this waste responsibly. Recycling offers a way to reduce the environmental impact of solar installations and avoid adding to the growing problem of waste in landfills.

There's also a growing awareness of the environmental impact of the solar industry. While solar energy is a clean and renewable energy source, producing and disposing of solar panels and other equipment in landfills can have negative environmental consequences. Recycling helps to mitigate these impacts by reducing the need for new materials and minimizing waste.

Recycling can also make good business sense for EPCs and utilities. By recycling materials, they can reduce their waste disposal costs and generate revenue from the sale of recycled materials.

Manufacturers are beginning to implement recycling programs to support this growing demand for sustainability and responsible waste management.

Overall, Green Clean Solar had a productive and informative experience at the Intersolar Show 2023. The event provided:

  • Valuable networking opportunities.

  • Insights into emerging trends and technologies.

  • A chance to connect with others passionate about advancing the adoption of solar energy.

As the industry continues to evolve, events like this will play an essential role in shaping its future.

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