Xcel Energy, Lightsource BP reach agreement on 240-MW solar project for steel mill

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Plans to build one of the state’s largest solar facilities are a step closer to reality as Xcel Energy, EVRAZ North America and Lightsource BP announced they have reached a long-term agreement to develop a new 240-MW solar facility in Pueblo, Colorado.

Lightsource BP will finance, build, own and operate the Bighorn Solar project and sell all the electricity it generates to Xcel Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement. It will be located on EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel property in Pueblo, making it the largest on-site solar facility dedicated to a single customer in the country. This innovative agreement makes possible EVRAZ North America’s planned long-term investment in Colorado, while supporting the goals of Xcel Energy’s partners and community.

“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,” said Alice Jackson, president of Xcel Energy Colorado. “Working together, we’re benefiting the environment and the local economy by retaining a valued company in southern Colorado.”

“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.”

“Xcel Energy and EVRAZ North America have been excellent partners for Lightsource BP and we look forward to our continued collaboration as we bring this significant project online. The project highlights the tremendous potential that Colorado offers for large-scale solar and serves as a creative multi-stakeholder model to meet increasing demand for affordable, clean energy,” said Kevin Smith, Lightsource BP’s CEO of the Americas. “We’re committed to building on this momentum and replicating this model across the U.S. as we grow our suite of clean energy solutions that boost local economies.”

The partners’ agreement requires final review by the Colorado Public Utilities Commission. It complements the broader Colorado Energy Plan, which will deliver 55% renewable energy to the grid by 2026 and reduce carbon emissions by 60%. The agreement is also part of Xcel Energy’s commitment to collaborate on solutions that benefit customers, communities and local economies.

News item from Xcel Energy

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