Unfortunately, solar panels don’t last forever. If your solar panel system in Albuquerque is reaching the end of its lifespan, follow our guide to expired solar panels below.

The Lifespan of Solar Panel Systems

The length of time that solar panels last is one of the most common questions among prospective solar panel owners. Generally speaking, solar panels last between 25 and 30 years. That’s a long time – many homeowners are likely to move before they’ll have to worry about replacing their solar panel systems. 

It’s also important to note that after 25 to 30 years, your Albuquerque solar panels won’t just stop working. The panels will continue to work, but at a significantly lower rate of efficiency than when they were first installed. The process of solar panels becoming less efficient over time is called degradation, and different solar panels (from different manufacturers) degrade at different rates. A degradation rate of about 0.5% is considered average, though panels may range from 0.3% to 0.8% degradation rates. 

When your solar panel system has degraded to the point at which its efficiency has fallen below 80%, it’s widely considered time to replace them. If any damage comes to your solar panels, (though it’s unlikely), you may need to replace them sooner. 

Reusing or Repairing Expired Solar Panels

Since solar panels that are considered past their prime can usually still generate energy for your home, many people opt to keep them. While the panels will produce energy at a lesser rate than before, many Albuquerque homeowners may still have their energy needs fulfilled by the outdated panels.

Repairing older solar panels can also be an option in some scenarios. For example, if your panels have incurred minor damages, it can be possible to have only the damaged parts replaced. This can save you from having to invest in an entirely new solar panel system. 

But, if your older solar panels are no longer producing enough energy to power your home, the best option is generally to have them replaced. Replacement is also recommended if your panels have been damaged beyond repair. 

Replacing Your Solar Panels

Eventually, it will come time to replace your old solar panels for new, more efficient panels. The widely accepted practice in this scenario is to recycle your old panels. Recycling is the most sustainable option for solar panel removal. Given that we’re all trying to be kinder to the planet, recycling in any form is usually the best choice to make!

Removing The Expired Panels

Before the expired solar panels can be recycled, they must be removed. This task should be completed by your solar panel experts in Albuquerque. Solar panels are complex pieces of energy equipment and need to be handled by professionals for your safety. 

Recycling The Expired Panels

Solar panels are made up of many different parts, with the various parts made out of different materials. This makes the recycling process for solar panels more complex than that of other items. That said, it’s worth it to properly recycle your solar panels. In doing so, you’ll be making a difference for the environment by making sure that your old solar panels don’t end up in landfills. 

PV solar panels may be silicon-based or thin-film-based. Both of the types of solar panels can be recycled, though the recycling process is different for both. 

Recycling Silicon-Based PV Panels

The first step in the process of recycling silicon-based PV panels is disassembling them. This separates the aluminum parts from the glass parts. Almost all of the glass and all of the metal in the solar panels can be reused. The plastic in the panels is thermal-processed and evaporates for use as a heat source. The cell modules are also thermal-processed, and most of them can be used. The silicon wafers must be processed and melted, then may be reused. 

Recycling Thin-Film-Based PV Panels

To recycle thin-film-based PV panels, they must first be shredded to eliminate the lamination. Then, the solid and liquid are separated before the film is removed. From there, the semiconductor material and the glass are treated separately to become ready for reuse. Almost all of the semiconductor material and glass can be reused. 

To learn more about recycling your outdated solar panel system, contact our Albuquerque solar panel team today.

For practical, financial, and environmental reasons, solar panels are an excellent addition to commercial properties in Albuquerque and across the country. Immediately upon installation, you’ll start seeing how solar energy can enhance a property and strengthen your financial standing. These benefits will only continue to grow over time, making solar panels a long-term investment in your commercial property. 

The Benefits of Commercial Solar Panel Systems

If you own a commercial property in Albuquerque, solar panels can offer you a wide range of benefits. The most notable of these perks include:

Lower Utility Bills

The key financial benefit of installing a commercial solar panel system is lower utility bills. With solar panels, your commercial property will start producing its own power from a free energy source: the sun! While you’ll still require some power from your energy company at first, you’ll gain energy independence over time. As an energy producer, you won’t need to pay for the power that your commercial property requires. 

Net Metering

Net metering heightens your ability to become energy independent with solar panels. With net metering, you’ll earn credits for any extra energy that your solar panels produce. You can redeem these credits at times when your solar panels don’t produce enough energy for your property, such as at night or during cloudy days. 

Improve Cash Flow

We’ve already established that solar panels will lower and eventually eliminate your utility bills. This will provide a further benefit: greater cash flow for your business. By eliminating a monthly expense, (utilities), you’ll have more room in your budget for other expenses. This will improve your cash flow and provide financial stability for your business. 

Your Solar Panel System Will Pay For Itself. 

While the upfront cost of solar panel installation can be daunting, you’ll get that money back in saved utility expenses over time. Most solar panel systems will pay for themselves within just seven to ten years. After that time, you’ll be getting free energy to power your commercial property, and little to no maintenance will be required for your panels. 

Solar Incentives

Following the theme of financial solar benefits, incentives and rebates can offer you a hefty discount on the price of solar panel installation. One key solar incentive is the federal solar tax credit, which offers solar panel system owners a deduction of over 20% of the cost of solar panel installation on their federal taxes.

Albuquerque solar panel owners can also get a deduction on their New Mexico state taxes. The New Mexico state government offers a tax credit based on your property’s sustainable certification level. To qualify for the New Mexico solar tax credit, your property must be certified as sustainable by the U.S. Green Building Council. 

These are just two of the many incentives available to solar panel system owners. Our team of solar experts can help you with financing, rebates, and tax credits to get the best bang for your buck with your new solar panel system. 

Higher Property Value

By boosting the value of your commercial property, you can get a high return on your investment should you sell the property in the future. Installing solar panels is an excellent way to increase your property’s value. This is because buyers will pay a higher price for properties that are energy independent. After all, properties that produce their own energy will have lower operating costs. So, with a solar panel system already installed, your property will sell faster and for a higher rate. 

Become an Eco-Friendly Business

As the owner of a commercial property, you know that your business’s image and reputation are crucial to your success. To keep current customers and get new ones, you need to be trusted and respected in the community. 

The health of the environment is a prevalent issue around the world today. People are concerned about the impact that we have on the planet and how it will impact future generations. As a clean, renewable energy source, the sun is a solution to reducing pollution and its harmful effects. So, by investing in solar energy as a company, you’re taking a stand for the environment. This move will gain the attention of your community and let people know that you care about our precious planet.

For homeowners in Albuquerque, installing a solar panel system is a big financial decision. But, a solar panel system is an excellent investment in your future financial health, as well as the health of the planet! When you consider the many benefits of owning a sun-powered home, you’ll see that it’s a smart choice, financially and otherwise. Here, we’ll discuss three key reasons why solar panels are a smart investment for Albuquerque homeowners: solar incentives, energy savings, and environmental benefits. 

Solar Incentives

Numerous incentives are available for Albuquerque homeowners who invest in solar panels. In fact, the incentives for solar panel owners in New Mexico are among the best in the nation!

New Mexico Net Metering

The net metering policy in New Mexico is one of the most significant incentives for solar panel owners in the state. With this policy, those with solar panel systems are credited for any extra electricity produced by the solar panels. These credits can be redeemed when your home needs more power, such as overnight or during an overcast day. With net metering, Albuquerque homeowners can continue to save money on energy, even when their solar panels aren’t actively gathering power from the sun. 

New Mexico Tax Credit

If you invest in solar panel installation for your Albuquerque home, you can enjoy a tax credit from the New Mexico state government. This credit applies if your solar panel system is installed as a component of your home’s sustainable building efforts. You’ll need to have your home certified as sustainable by the U.S. Green Building Council to qualify for this tax credit. The value of the credit also fluctuates based on your home’s certification level. But, if you qualify, you can save a large chunk of money on your New Mexico state taxes. 

Federal Solar Tax Credit

One major financial incentive for solar panel owners across the United States is the federal solar tax credit. This tax credit is awarded to people in the United States who own a solar panel system. With the credit, more than 20% of the cost of installation for your solar panel system can be deducted from your federal taxes. This typically totals thousands of dollars of money back into homeowners’ pockets. Plus, if your tax liability isn’t high enough to qualify you for the federal solar tax credit, you can roll the leftover credits to future years. 

The Financial Benefit of Energy Independence

When you invest in solar panels for your home, you’re also investing in your future energy independence. As the owner of an energy independent home, you won’t have to purchase any energy from the big utility companies. The power that your home needs will be produced right on your own roof with your solar panel system. The capacity to produce free energy from the sun will eliminate energy from your monthly home expenses, opening up room in your budget for your own use. 

While energy independence may seem like a far-off goal, it’s closer than you might think. Most solar panel systems pay for themselves within seven to ten years. Then, for the duration of your solar panel system’s lifespan, your home will produce its own energy – no utility company required. 

Investing in The Planet

We all call this planet home. By caring for the planet’s wellbeing, we can all also continue to benefit from the many gifts that it gives us.

The Detriment of Non-Renewable Energy

Conventional energy sources for homes and businesses, namely electricity and natural gas, have a negative, lasting impact on the environment. These nonrenewable energy sources create pollution, which poses a host of threats to the environment. Pollution can render water undrinkable and soil unusable. It can destroy plants and landscapes, as well as kill off wildlife. If we continue to create as much pollution as we do now, the planet will likely become unlivable for the generations to come. 

An investment in solar panels is an investment in the future of our planet. As a clean, renewable energy source, the sun can power your home without impacting the environment or contributing to pollution. With the sun as your home’s energy source, you can feel better about the mark you’re leaving on the Earth.