Steel Mills

BP JV Brings $285 Million in Private Funds to Evraz Pueblo Solar Project

Written by Michael Cowden

A BP joint venture has brought $285 million in private money to the table to fund Evraz North America’s goal of creating the first steel mill to run almost entirely on solar energy.

Officially known as Bighorn Solar, the project will provide energy infrastructure for the Chicago-based steelmaker’s electric arc furnace (EAF) mill in Pueblo, Colo. – also known as Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel.

solar2Bighorn Solar is also expected to abate more than 433,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, or the equivalent of taking more than 92,000 cars off the road, the companies said in a joint press release on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

“As each new acre of solar panels is installed, we find ourselves closer to our goal of making Evraz in Pueblo one of the greenest steel facilities in the world,” Evraz North America CEO Skip Herald said in a statement.

Approximately 750,000 solar panels will be built by Lightsource bp – a 50-50 joint venture between the British oil-and-gas giant and solar energy company Lightsource. The panels will be located on 1,800 acres of land owned by the Pueblo mill.

The companies said that it would amount to the largest on-site solar facility in the U.S. dedicated to a single customer and that the panels would provide almost all Evraz Rocky Mountain’s annual electricity demand.

The Pueblo EAF mill makes rail, wire rod and seamless oil country tubular goods (OCTG). And the low carbon footprint associated with EAF steelmaking will be further reduced by consumption of renewable energy, the companies said.

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

The Bighorn Solar project is already providing electricity and is expected to be fully online in November.

Evraz North America also broke ground in July on a $500 million, solar-powered rail mill.

The Bighorn Solar project is separate from that investment.

By Michael Cowden,

Michael Cowden

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