What is solar decommissioning?

Solar decommissioning involves dismantling the equipment and restoring the site to its original or another beneficial use. This process sets solar energy apart from other development forms, as decommissioned solar sites can be effectively repurposed.

Prior to the construction of a solar project, obtaining various permits and approvals is required. Local authorities often mandate a predefined plan for the removal of solar panel systems after their operational lifespan, typically spanning 20-40 years.

When a solar project reaches the end of its economic viability, or possibly when a permit expires, the project owner must decide whether to pursue a new permit for continued operation or to proceed with decommissioning. Solar panels may function beyond thirty years, though with reduced efficiency. In such cases, the owner has options: continue using the existing panels, upgrade the site with newer, more efficient solar technology (‘repowering’), or opt to decommission the facility entirely.

What is a solar decommissioning plan?

A decommissioning plan outlines the required steps to remove the system, dispose of or recycle its components, and restore the land to its original state. It is never too early to plan for a project decommissioning. Decom Solar is a trusted partner to organizations and can help with:

Planning and zoning approvals

More states now require detailed decommissioning plans to move forward with new solar construction projects. These include detailed plans and cost estimates for decommissioning work.

Asset review and planning

Review solar portfolios and assess your projects to determine the right time to plan for your project decommissioning.  Provide cost estimates and insight on technology advancement that may help dictate the right time to decommission your projects.