Xcel Energy, Lightsource BP and EVRAZ North America announce $250 million plan to develop 240M watts solar-powered facility in Pueblo, Colorado.
Earlier this month, Xcel Energy announced an agreement with EVRAZ North America and Lighthouse BP to develop a solar power plant to provide power to EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel facility in Pueblo (formerly known as the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company).
Currently, the Pueblo plant is powered by Xcel’s coal-fired Comanche Generating Station. This plan looks to shut down the two units in 2022 and 2025, both of which are ten years ahead of schedule.
In a statement regarding the announcement, Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy Colorado said “We’re thrilled to partner with EVRAZ North America and Lightsource BP, two companies committed to creating innovative solutions, while developing new solar energy sources within the state… Working together, we’re benefiting the environment and the local economy by retaining a valued company in southern Colorado.”
The use of renewable energy in the production of steel rails and pipes represents not only an opportunity to produce more environmentally-conscious steel, but also a major step towards creating a “multi-stakeholder model to meet increasing demand for affordable, clean energy.” Said Skip Herald, president and CEO of EVRAZ North America.
This project, known as Bighorn Solar, will be financed, built, owned, and operated by Lightsource BP. The company looks to sell the electricity generated to Xcel under a power purchase agreement. This agreement offers the steel mill price certainty for its electricity costs through 2041, but the rates have not been made public yes.
On Xcel’s side, this project is part of its Colorado Energy Plan, which looks to deliver 55% renewable energy to the state’s grid by 2026, while reducing its emissions level by 60% from its 2005 levels.
The Bighorn project is expected to go live by the end of 2021.
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