Lightsource BP has launched a 300MW solar project in Colorado that will “largely” power a local steel mill in what the company has said is a world’s first.
The Bighorn Solar farm represents US$285 million of investment and will power EVRAZ’s Rocky Mountain Steel’s steel mill in Pueblo. It is currently putting power onto the grid and will come fully online in November.
Lightsource BP financed, owns and operates the site. It then sells the power generated to Xcel Energy, a Minneapolis-based utility company, under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA). As part of the agreement, EVRAZ will receive renewable power and “price certainty” until 2041.
Bighorn is the largest on-site solar plant in the US dedicated to a single customer, according to a company media release.
“This project proves that even hard-to-abate sectors like steel can be decarbonised when companies come together with innovative solutions,” said Kevin Smith, CEO of Lightsource BP Americas.
At the end of last month, Lightsource BP increased its solar deployment target to 25GW by 2025 after securing a US$1.8 billion financing facility that will help fund its global expansion.