Lightsource BP has successfully closed on a $285 million financing package for its Bighorn Solar project, which will be located on EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel mill property in Pueblo. Xcel Energy, as the electrical provider for the steel mill, will purchase the power generated by the solar facility under a long-term contract with Lightsource BP. The competitive price of solar energy and its long-term budget certainty helps to ensure that the steel mill, along with 1,000 local workers, will remain in Pueblo. Additionally, EVRAZ has announced it is moving forward with construction of a new long rail mill in Pueblo.
In addition to the local economic value that Bighorn Solar is bringing to Pueblo through its benefits to the economics of the steel mill and the new long rail mill, the solar project will create approximately 300 direct jobs on site during the 12 to 14 month construction period, with the majority of the workers hired from the local community.
Construction has started with commercial operation expected by late 2021. McCarthy Building Companies was selected by Lightsource BP as their Engineering, Procurement, and Construction (EPC) Contractor for the project and will install nearly 750,000 Canadian Solar bifacial solar panels on approximately 1,600 acres of land located on the EVRAZ steel mill site with some supplemental land provided by the City of Pueblo and private landowners. McCarthy has a track record of successfully building large utility-scale projects in Colorado and is committed to recruiting and hiring from the local workforce.
“We congratulate Lightsource BP on reaching this important milestone and are excited to see construction begin on the Bighorn solar project that will supply clean energy to EVRAZ Pueblo. EVRAZ Pueblo will be the first steel mill in North America to rely on solar power as we proudly use renewable energy to turn recycled scrap metal into new, clean steel, including the most sustainable rail in the world,” said Skip Herald, president and CEO of EVRAZ North America.
News item from Lightsource BP