Colorado Steel Mill Becomes ‘World’s First’ To Be Run Almost Entirely On Solar

By: | October 27th, 2021

Image courtesy Wikimedia Commons

The environmental impact of steel is enormous. Did you know that Steel production is one of the most energy-consuming and CO2-emitting industrial activities in the world?

But now a Colorado steel plant is attempting to go green. Pueblo, Colorado-based EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel Factory will be the first in the world to get most of its energy from solar energy.

Recently, solar developer Lightsource BP, utility Xcel Energy, and steel company EVRAZ North America collaborated to unveil the Bighorn Solar project.

Lightsource bp, Americas CEO Kevin Smith said, “This project proves that even hard-to-abate sectors like steel can be decarbonized when companies come together with innovative solutions,”

“It’s a great example of partners tackling complex issues that US industry is facing today, while at the same time preserving jobs in the manufacturing sector.”

To make this 300-megawatt solar farm a reality, 750,000 solar panels are installed. The panels are installed on 1800 acres of land owned by the steel factory.

At present, the project is partially operational. However, it is expected to be fully online in November. This solar farm is the largest on-site solar project in the U.S. dedicated to a single customer. 

Dave Lawler, chairman and president of BP America, said, “Projects like this can make companies more resilient and protect jobs through the energy transition,” 

“Renewable energy can create a more sustainable, competitive business.”

The project is estimated to prevent about 433,770 metric tons of CO2 from being released into the atmosphere. The amount is equivalent to taking 92,100 cars off the roads.

Nidhi Goyal

Nidhi is a gold medalist Post Graduate in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences.

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