17Mar2022... 0940h







AN ACT relative to recycling solar panels.


SPONSORS: Rep. Plett, Hills. 6


COMMITTEE: Science, Technology and Energy






This bill establishes a program and fund for the recycling of photovoltaic solar panels.


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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.

Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]

Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.

17Mar2022... 0940h 22-2353





In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Twenty Two


AN ACT relative to recycling solar panels.


Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:


1  New Subdivision; Photovoltaic Recycling Program.  Amend RSA 149-M by inserting after section 61 the following new subdivision:

Photovoltaic Recycling Program

149-M:62  Definitions.  In this subdivision:

I.  "Consumer electronic device" means any device containing an electronic circuit board that is intended for everyday use by individuals, such as a watch or calculator.

II.  "Department" means the department of environmental services.

III.  "Distributor" means a person who markets and sells photovoltaic modules to retailers in New Hampshire.

IV.  "Installer" means a person who assembles, installs, and maintains photovoltaic module systems.

V.  "Photovoltaic module" means the smallest nondivisible, environmentally protected assembly of photovoltaic cells or other photovoltaic collector technology and ancillary parts intended to generate electrical power under sunlight, except that "photovoltaic module" does not include a photovoltaic cell that is part of a consumer electronic device for which it provides electricity needed to make the consumer electronic device function.  "Photovoltaic module" includes but is not limited to interconnections, terminals, and protective devices such as diodes that:

(a)  Are installed on, connected to, or integral with buildings;

(b)  Are used as components of freestanding, off-grid, power generation systems, such as for powering water pumping stations, electric vehicle charging stations, fencing, street and signage lights, and other commercial or agricultural purposes; or

(c)  Are part of a system connected to the grid or utility service.

VI.  "Rare earth element" means lanthanum, cerium, praseodymium, neodymium, promethium, samarium, europium, gadolinium, terbium, dysprosium, holmium, erbium, thulium, ytterbium, lutetium, yttrium, or scandium.

VII.  "Reuse" means any operation by which a photovoltaic module or a component of a photovoltaic module changes ownership and is used for the same purpose for which it was originally purchased.

VIII.  "Stewardship plan" means the plan developed by a installer or its designated stewardship organization for a self-directed stewardship program.

IX.  "Stewardship program" means the activities conducted by a installer or a stewardship organization to fulfill the requirements of this subdivision and implement the activities described in its stewardship plan.

149-M:63  Photovoltaic Module Stewardship Plan.

I.  The department shall develop guidance for a photovoltaic module stewardship and takeback program to guide installers in preparing and implementing a self-directed program to ensure the convenient, safe, and environmentally sound takeback and recycling of photovoltaic modules and their components and materials.  By January 1, 2024, the department shall establish a process to develop guidance for photovoltaic module stewardship plans by working with installers, stewardship organizations, and other stakeholders on the content, review, and approval of stewardship plans.  The department's process shall be fully implemented and stewardship plan guidance completed by July 1, 2025.

II.  A stewardship organization may be designated to act as an agent on behalf of an installer or installers in operating and implementing the stewardship program required under this subdivision.  Any stewardship organization that has obtained such designation shall provide to the department a list of the installers and brand names that the stewardship organization represents within 60 days of its designation by a installer as its agent, or within 60 days of removal of such designation.

III.  Each installer shall prepare and submit a stewardship plan to the department by the later of July 1, 2030, or within 30 days of its first sale of a photovoltaic module in or into the state.

(a)  A stewardship plan shall, at a minimum:

(1)  Describe how installers will finance the takeback and recycling system, and include an adequate funding mechanism to finance the costs of collection, management, and recycling of photovoltaic modules and residuals sold in or into the state by the installer with a mechanism that ensures that photovoltaic modules can be delivered to takeback locations without cost to the last owner or holder;

(2)  Accept all of their photovoltaic modules sold in or into the state after July 1, 2022;

(3)  Describe how the program will minimize the release of hazardous substances into the environment and maximize the recovery of other components, including rare earth elements and commercially valuable materials;

(4)  Provide for takeback of photovoltaic modules at locations that are within the region of the state in which their photovoltaic modules were used and are as convenient as reasonably practicable, and if no such location within the region of the state exists, include an explanation for the lack of such location;

(5)  Identify how relevant stakeholders, including consumers, installers, building demolition firms, and recycling and treatment facilities, will receive information required in order for them to properly dismantle, transport, and treat the end-of-life photovoltaic modules in a manner consistent with the objectives described in subparagraph (a)(3);

(6)  Establish performance goals, including a goal for the rate of combined reuse and recycling of collected photovoltaic modules as a percentage of the total weight of photovoltaic modules collected, which rate shall be no less than 85 percent.

(b)  A installer shall implement the stewardship plan.

(c)  A installer may periodically amend its stewardship plan.  The department shall approve the amendment if it meets the requirements for plan approval outlined in the department's guidance.  When submitting proposed amendments, the installer shall include an explanation of why such amendments are necessary.

IV.  The department shall approve a stewardship plan if it determines the plan addresses each element outlined in the department's guidance.

V.(a)  Beginning April 1, 2032, and by April 1st in each subsequent year, a installer, or its designated stewardship organization, shall provide to the department a report for the previous calendar year that documents implementation of the plan and assesses achievement of the performance goals established in this section.

(b)  The report may include any recommendations to the department or the legislature on modifications to the program that would enhance the effectiveness of the program, including management of program costs and mitigation of environmental impacts of photovoltaic modules.

(c)  The installer or stewardship organization shall post this report on a publicly accessible website.

VI.  Beginning July 1, 2028, no distributor, installer, or installer may sell or offer for sale a photovoltaic module in or into the state unless the installer of the photovoltaic module has submitted to the department a stewardship plan and received plan approval.

(a)  The department shall send a written warning to a installer that is not participating in a plan.  The written warning shall inform the installer that it shall submit a plan or participate in a plan within 30 days of the notice.  The department may assess a penalty of up to $10,000 upon a installer for each sale that occurs in or into the state of a photovoltaic module for which a stewardship plan has not been submitted by the installer and approved by the department after the initial written warning.  A installer may appeal a penalty issued under this section to the superior court within 180 of receipt of the notice.

(b)  The department shall send a written warning to a distributor, installer, or installer that sells or installs a photovoltaic module made by a installer that is not participating in a plan.  The written warning shall inform the distributor, installer, or installer that they may no longer sell or install a photovoltaic module if a stewardship plan for that brand has not been submitted by the installer and approved by the department within 30 days of the notice.

VII.  The department may collect a flat fee from participating installers to recover costs associated with the plan guidance, review, and approval process described in paragraph I.  Other administrative costs incurred by the department for program implementation activities, including stewardship plan review and approval, enforcement, and any rule making, may be recovered by charging every installer an annual fee calculated by dividing department administrative costs by the installer's pro rata share of the New Hampshire state photovoltaic module sales in the most recent preceding calendar year, based on best available information.  The sole purpose of assessing the fees authorized in this subsection is to predictably and adequately fund the department's costs of administering the photovoltaic module recycling program.

VIII.  In lieu of preparing a stewardship plan and as provided by paragraph III, a installer may participate in a national program for the convenient, safe, and environmentally sound takeback and recycling of photovoltaic modules and their components and materials, if substantially equivalent to the intent of the state program.  The department may determine substantial equivalence if it determines that the national program adequately addresses and fulfills each of the elements of a stewardship plan outlined in subparagraph III(a) and includes an enforcement mechanism reasonably calculated to ensure a installer's compliance with the national program.  Upon issuing a determination of substantial equivalence, the department shall notify affected stakeholders including the installer.  If the national program is discontinued or the department determines the national program is no longer substantially equivalent to the state program in New Hampshire, the department shall notify the installer and the installer shall provide a stewardship plan as described in paragraph III to the department for approval within 30 days of notification.

149-M:64  Rulemaking; Photovoltaic Recycling Fund.

I.  The department shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A for the administration of this subdivision.

II.  There is hereby established the photovoltaic recycling fund.  The fund shall be administered by the department.  The fund shall be kept distinct and separate from all other funds and used for the administration of this subdivision.  All fees collected from photovoltaic installers under this subdivision shall be deposited in this account.  All moneys in the fund shall be nonlapsing and continually appropriated to the department for the purposes of this subdivision.   

2  New Subparagraph; Photovoltaic Recycling Fund.  Amend RSA 6:12, I(b) by inserting after subparagraph (382) the following new subparagraph:

(383)  Moneys deposited in the photovoltaic recycling fund established in RSA 149-M:64, II.

3  Effective Date.  This act shall take effect July 1, 2022.









AN ACT relative to recycling solar panels.


FISCAL IMPACT:      [ X ] State              [    ] County               [    ] Local              [    ] None




Estimated Increase / (Decrease)


FY 2022

FY 2023

FY 2024

FY 2025
















Funding Source:

  [ X ] General            [    ] Education            [    ] Highway           [ X ] Other - Photovoltaic Recycling Fund



This bill would establish a photovoltaic recycling program, as well as a new non-lapsing continually appropriated dedicated fund, to be administered by the Department of Environmental Services. Many of the bill’s requirements, both of the Department and those subject to the new oversight, fall beyond the period of this fiscal note (FY 2026 and each year thereafter). However, the Department has identified the need for an additional position (waste management specialist IV, labor grad 26) with a start date of July 1, 2023, to develop the program. The estimated costs of this position are approximately $100,000 in FY 2024 and $103,000 in FY 2025.


It should be noted this bill provides neither an appropriation nor authority for the establishment of a new position.



Department of Environmental Services