Tata Steel has revealed plans to mount some 80,000 solar panels on the factory roofs at its IJmuiden steelworks in the Netherlands.

Producing up to 22 MWe, the installation output will be used in the steelmaking process.

Working with energy developer Pure Energie, the two-year installation of the panels is due to start in the spring of 2016 and cover a total of 25 hectares. Pure Energie will fund the development.

Hans Fischer, Chief Technical Officer of Tata Steel’s European operations, said: ‘This project will further minimise our carbon footprint. Since 1990 we have reduced the amount of energy needed to produce steel by more than 30% at our IJmuiden site, which is already one of the world’s most energy-efficient steel plants.’

In a related development, Tata Steel has also secured planning permission for an on-site power station at its Port Talbot site in Wales, UK.

Fuelled by gases produced by the steelmaking process, the plant will double the site’s power generation capacity from 115.7 MWe to 225 MWe.