Deploying solar on curved metal roofs


Midsummer Italia, the Italian unit of Swedish thin-film module manufacturer Midsummer, has entered into a five-year cooperation agreement with Italian insulated panel provider Medacciai to develop a new building-integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) product intended for sale in southern European markets.

The new product, called Panel Energy, will combine Midsummer's copper indium gallium di-selenide (CIGS) solar panels with Medacciai's curved metal roof technology and will consist of a curved metal panel made with a thickness of 0.4 to 0.8mm that can be used, according to the manufacturer, on roofs where the slope or other technical-climatic conditions do not allow the use of a traditional panel.

The curved panel is made with a galvanized, flat external sheet, pre-coupled with a synthetic membrane in thermoplastic polyolefin (TPO) or PVC, from a corrugated, galvanized steel, pre-painted sheet.

Under the terms of the deal, Medacciai has agreed to purchase 3.5 MW of panels, for €6.3 million per year, from Midsummer, and the Swedish manufacturer has agreed to buy up to 50,000 square meters of metal roofs from the Italian company, for €3 million per year. “The roofs will be sold together with Midsummer’s solar panels to the Italian market,” the two companies said in a joint statement. “The quantities are not binding for any party and the prices can also change, under certain conditions.”

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“The Italian real-estate-restructuring sector is currently booming, mostly due to the 110% tax rebate for solar panels that has been extended 'till the end of 2023,” Midsummer Italia CEO Jarno Montella said. “Medacciai is riding this restructuring growth wave with its products and is also considering expanding its production.”

Midsummer began construction on a 50 MW BIPV module factory in Italy in early November. The facility, located in the southern region of Apulia, is being built with the support of the Italian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) and the Italian investment institution Invitalia, which is part of the Italian Ministry of Finance, which provided a €38 million low-interest loan for the project. Production is expected to start next summer.

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