Steel Mills

EVRAZ Announces Solar Project in Colorado

Written by Sandy Williams

A new solar project in Pueblo, Colo., will bring the state one step closer to its goal of providing 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050 and give EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel predictable electricity prices through 2041.

solarPanelsThe  240-megawatt Bighorn Solar project will be built, owned and operated by Lightsource BP on property owned by EVRAZ North America. All of the electricity generated from the solar field will be sold to Xcel Energy, which in turn will sell it exclusively to EVRAZ for its steel facility.

“This pioneering partnership with Xcel Energy and Lightsource BP marks a milestone for the development of our new rail mill and will make EVRAZ North America the industry leader in the use of renewable energy to produce the greenest steel and engineered steel products in the world, from rail to rod and bar,” said Skip Herald, president and CEO of EVRAZ North America. “This long-term agreement is key to our investment in Colorado’s new sustainable economy.”

Lightsource BP will invest approximately $250 million in the facility and contribute an estimated $22 million in property taxes over the life of the project.

“We are now taking established technologies that have been around and merging that with new technologies that provide cost-effective and clean energy,” said Kevin Smith, Lightsource BP chief executive of the Americas. “As technologies improve over the next few decades, this energy project will be here for the long term. It could be here for the next 50-75 years.”

The Bighorn project is touted as the largest solar facility east of the Rocky Mountains. Construction will start next year with completion anticipated by 2021. The project will provide jobs for about 300 contractors and 15 to 20 permanent employees.

EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel, an electric arc furnace mill, is located in Pueblo and produces rail, seamless pipe, rod and cold reinforcing bar. It is the largest rail producer in North America, manufacturing more than 580,000 tons of rail annually.

EVRAZ North America operates mills in Pueblo and Portland, Ore., as well as five facilities in Canada. The company also operates two metal scrap recycling facilities in Colorado, one in North Dakota and 13 in Western Canada. EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel melts 1.25 million tons of recycled scrap annually in its EAF.

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