Lightsource bp, Xcel Energy, and Evraz North America dedicated the 300 MW Bighorn Solar project to partially power Evraz’s Pueblo, Colorado, steelmaking operations.
The project is primarily located on 1,800 acres of Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel property in Pueblo. It is one of the largest on-site solar facilities in the U.S. dedicated to a single customer, with more than 750,000 solar panels. The plant recycles scrap metal to produce new steel products, including railroad track.
Kevin Smith, CEO of Lightsource bp, Americas said the project proves that even “hard-to-abate sectors like steel can be decarbonized.”
The Bighorn Solar project is currently generating electricity and is expected to come fully online in November.
Lightsource bp financed, owns, and operates Bighorn Solar and sells the electricity it generates to Xcel Energy under a 20-year power purchase agreement. As part of that arrangement, Evraz will receive energy from Xcel Energy through 2041. The project will enable Xcel Energy to abate 433,770 metric tons of CO2 emissions.
The steel maker is Xcel Energy’s largest retail electric customer in Colorado and one of Pueblo’s largest employers. The deal for fixed-rate power gives EVRAZ the low, predictable electricity prices it needs to stay in Pueblo and invest in its future there, keeping more than 1,000 jobs in the city.