A new 750,000-panel solar farm in Colorado will provide electricity to the world’s first steel mill to get most of its power from the sun.
Lightsource BP, a 50-50 joint solar energy venture with BP, unveiled the Bighorn Solar project on Wednesday alongside utility giant Xcel Energy, which will purchase the power generated by the 300-megawatt project and sell it to the EVRAZ North America steel mill in Pueblo at an agreed-upon price.
Most of the project's panels sit on 1,800 acres of land on EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel property in Pueblo, making it the largest on-site solar facility in the country that is dedicated to a single customer, according to Lightsource BP.
“This project proves that even hard-to-abate sectors like steel can be decarbonized when companies come together with innovative solutions," said Kevin Smith, CEO of Lightsource BP, Americas. "Our collaboration with Xcel Energy and EVRAZ North America made Bighorn Solar a reality. It’s a great example of partners tackling complex issues that U.S. industry is facing today while, at the same time, preserving jobs in the manufacturing sector.”
Bighorn Solar takes #decarbonization to a new level. In addition to providing emissions-free energy for @evrazna and @XcelEnergyCO, the landscape will pull CO2 from the air into soil and prairie grasses on-site. #carbonsequestration #prairieconservation https://t.co/8i0cm2pcl0 pic.twitter.com/WH73TAHsPy
— Lightsource bp (@Lightsourcebp) October 7, 2021
In 2019, the energy-intensive industry was the third-largest emitter of greenhouse gases, behind transportation and the power sector, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. Bighorn Solar provides Xcel the capacity to abate 433,770 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, about the same as removing 92,100 cars from the road.
“Like BP and Xcel Energy, EVRAZ is committed to reducing emissions and operating more sustainably," said Skip Herald, CEO of EVRAZ North America. "As each new acre of solar panels is installed, we find ourselves closer to our goal of making EVRAZ in Pueblo one of the greenest steel facilities in the world. The journey shows what can happen when like-minded companies come together and work across government and industry to promote cleaner energy, cleaner products, and more resilient communities."
The project is scheduled to be fully online in November 2021.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: 750,000-panel solar farm will power Colorado steel mill, first of its kind