Lightsource BP to power historic Colorado steel mill with 240MW solar plant

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
EVRAZ’s Rocky Mountain steel mill in Pueblo was owned and run by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company, better known as CF&I, for more than 100 years. It was acquired by Evraz in 2007. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

Lightsource BP will build and operate a 240MW solar facility that will sell energy to Midwestern utility Xcel Energy to power operations at a historic Colorado steel mill for 20 years.

The project partners, which count steel maker EVRAZ North America, are touting the project as the largest on-site solar facility dedicated to a single customer in the US.

The US$250 million solar plant will be located on EVRAZ’s Rocky Mountain steel property in the central Coloradan city of Pueblo. The array will provide energy to the mill through a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) signed with off-taker Xcel Energy, Colorado’s largest utility.

The project is expected to start operating in 2021 and the deal will give the steel mill “price certainty” through 2041, according to the three companies.

The mill, which started operating in the late 19th century, currently employs 1,000 people. Construction and maintenance of the solar plant is expected to generate a further 300 jobs, alongside US$22 million in property tax revenue.

The deal is subject to a final review by Colorado’s utilities commission.

Xcel Energy intends to deliver 55% renewable energy to the grid by 2026. EVRAZ North America is its largest retail electricity customer.

Colorado’s Democratic Governor Jared Polis wants the state to be powered entirely by renewable energy by 2040, with voluntary processes set out in mid-2019 to help industry reach that aim.

Lightsource BP, the British-headquartered solar arm of oil major BP, claims to have a US solar pipeline larger than 4GW. This month, it secured US$140 million in financing for a portfolio of seven utility-scale PV projects across the US, including a 70MW trio of facilities in Pennsylvania that broke ground two weeks prior. It is also developing an 130MW PV projet in Alabama.

EVRAZ North America is part owned by Roman Abromovich and is a subsidiary of Russia's largest steel producer EVRAZ.

US solar prospects amid PPA uptake and a changing policy landscape will take centre stage at Solar Media's Solar & Storage Finance USA in New York on 29-30 October 2019

Read Next

PV Tech Premium
April 27, 2021
The fallout from February’s winter storm in Texas could see new legislation enacted that would shift the cost of ancillary services onto renewable energy projects, potentially derailing solar deployment in a state that is currently on track to surpass California and become the US’ leading PV market. Jules Scully speaks to the market to determine the risk posed to solar as a result.
April 20, 2021
Amazon has announced plans for nine new utility-scale solar and wind projects in the US, Canada, Spain, Sweden and the UK, putting it on track to powering all its activities with renewables by 2025.
April 14, 2021
Meyer Burger is on track to start shipments of its first heterojunction (HJ) solar modules made in Germany to distributors in July.
April 13, 2021
London-based US Solar Fund has launched a placing programme that will be conducted over the next 12 months to help expand its PV portfolio to 543MWdc.
April 8, 2021
The US Department of the Treasury has revealed how new renewable tax incentives will be paid for by a tax raid on the fossil fuel industry, eliminating subsidies for oil and gas companies.
March 25, 2021
Thin-film laser systems equipment supplier LPKF Laser & Electronics suffered from delays in receiving new expected orders from two long-stand customers last year.

Subscribe to Newsletter

Upcoming Events

Solar Media Events
May 11, 2021
Upcoming Webinars
May 26, 2021
Session 1 - 7:00 AM (BST) | Session 2 - 5:00 PM (BST)
Solar Media Events
June 15, 2021
Solar Media Events
July 6, 2021