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MPIL Steel offers turnkey solutions for rooftop solar power systems

According to reports, MPIL Steel Structures Ltd will offer turnkey solutions to install rooftop solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems on pre-engineered buildings. The Mumbai-based company makes complex steel structures, fabricated solar panel mounting structures and pre-engineered buildings.The company piloted this on the roof of its factory in Tarapur, Maharashtra, and will now begin to offer the solution on a turnkey basis to factories and other commercial consumers.

“Any company can approach us for the solution and we will design, manufacture and install the steel mounted solar modules on the factory rooftop. But for the sourcing of panels, the entire manufacturing will be done by us,” Ms Priyanka Gupta, Executive Director, MPIL, told Business Line.

According to her, at an incremental cost of Rs 18,000 per sq. m – a marginal cost for installing the panels, the entire cost can be written off in four years.

The technology used by MPIL for the rooftop solar systems is one where the electricity generated is directed to a grid-tie inverter in the building and is integrated with the power supply from the common grid. “The power generated from the system can be used to power the machinery in the plant; we want to take it beyond administrative use and use it for the manufacturing process itself,” Ms Gupta said.

Typically, solar farms either import aluminium units (in which solar panels are fitted) from Europe, or procure them domestically to save costs. Either way, the aluminium structures are thrice as expensive as steel structures, Ms Gupta pointed out.

“Also, it is an advantage having steel-mounted solar panels as the life of the modules on which the panels are mounted is as long as that of the panels themselves — about 25 years,” she added.

The company has received several orders for setting up such systems, Ms Gupta said. “In the next four months, given the projects we have on hand, we will have installed about 50 buildings more,” she said.

Also, the company, which currently produces about 30 KW in its Tarapur plant, is working on scaling this up to 100 MW.

This apart, the company has been present in the solar space for over a year now by manufacturing steel modules to fit solar panels in, and has fabricated eight solar farms across the country so far.

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