voestalpine Metsec plc, Birmingham
Voestalpine Metsec plc
1.875 MWp (4,691 panel) installation
Listed on the Vienna Stock Exchange since 1995, voestalpine is an internationally leading steel and technology group. Operating globally, the group consists of 500 companies and has locations in more than 50 countries on all five continents. The group has been a long standing partner to the automotive and consumer goods industries, and increasingly its product innovations are benefiting development in areas such as e-mobility, railway systems, and renewable energy generation.
voestalpine has placed an increasing focus on sustainability as core to its global strategy. One of the key pillars of this is decarbonising the production of steel through powering group facilities with renewable energy.
Rolling with the times
voestalpine Metsec has been manufacturing from its Oldbury site since 1931, cold roll forming steel profiles for the building and construction industries.
Due to the energy intensive nature of the cold rolling process, on-site renewable energy generation contributes to voestalpine’s economic and environmental sustainability goals by reducing energy expenditure and emissions associated with importing energy via the national grid and local distribution network.
After conducting a comprehensive energy audit and feasibility study, which was commissioned in early 2023, Mypower designed a 875.95 kWp rooftop solar PV system on the Oldbury manufacturing facility. After a consultation with voestalpine, Mypower completed all of the required structural assessments, permits and grid connection applications. Mypower’s delivery and construction experts then worked closely with the voestalpine Metsec operations teams to design a bespoke procurement, delivery and construction programme to fit with site operational and access requirements.
Such was the voestalpine Metsec’s experience of Mypower’s installation, integration and commissioning of the system, they then instructed Mypower to deliver a further 999.54 kWp on another building on site. This second array was fully commissioned in September 2023. This more than doubled the capacity and output of the first phase installation, taking the total installed capacity to 1.875 MWp. It has since been confirmed that Mypower will install a third array at voestalpine Metsec’s facility; due to be installed Spring/Summer of 2024.
Operating in a critical manufacturing environment, voestalpine Metsec adheres to the highest standards of health and safety and process excellence. The challenge was to find an innovative solution that aligned with voestalpine’s commitment to sustainability while maintaining safe, efficient , uninterrupted production and product dispatch.
Drawing on over a decade of experience, extensive industry accreditations and an ethos of never compromising on quality, Mypower worked meticulously to understand and adapt to site specific needs. These included:
• Programme of works: careful scheduling to overcome wintry weather and risk of slips on 30° pitched roofs.
• Roof access: detailed risk assessments to inform roof edge protection, roof light caging and safe access requirements for installation and ongoing maintenance.
• Grid export restrictions: installation of G100 reverse power relays to prevent electricity spillage which could interrupt the safe operation of the local distribution network.
• Enhanced safety: power optimisation and DC safe functionality to reduce DC voltage to a safe, low voltage when the solar inverter is disconnected during installation and maintenance.
Key facts and predictions
- 1,875.49 kWp (4,691 panels) installed.
- 1,516,680 kWh units of energy produced per annum.
- £288,115 projected first year income and savings.
- 21.6% projected first year return on capital invested, before capital allowance benefits.
- 5.43p/kWh - the equivalent forward purchase price of 33.9 million units of electricity over 25 years including estimated operating & maintenance costs.
- 4.6 years - system payback before finance, tax and capital allowance and grant benefit.
- £11,870,488 - a 25-year income and savings after indexation.
- 77% saving per unit from solar PV electricity compared to grid supplied electricity at 38p/kWh.
- 314.1 tonnes of CO2 emissions avoided per annum.
“Having identified on-site solar PV as the most environmentally, technically and commercially beneficial solution to contribute towards our sustainability goals we sought a partner we could trust not just to deliver the technology, but to adhere to the highest standards of health and safety and construction management in a critical manufacturing and processing environment. Mypower had the expertise, track record and personnel to deliver. We were suitably impressed by their approach and way of working with us that we were delighted to instruct them to complete phase two, and look forward to our continued partnership as we deliver against voestalpine’s sustainability commitments.”
Thomas Baumgartner, Financial Director at voestalpine Metsec
“At Mypower we recognise the critical role that clients like voestalpine have to play in the decarbonisation of industry, and our own role in supporting them to deliver that goal. We understand the criticality of business continuity for this type of complex manufacturing site, and to have the trust of the voestalpine team to repeatedly deliver in that environment speaks volumes of our experience and focus on delivering against the specific needs of our clients.”
Tom Sivil, Mypower's Senior Project Manager