Holcim US announced a milestone clean energy investment in northeast Michigan with a new partnership to bring the company’s largest solar project in the Midwest to its cement plant in Alpena. When combined with existing renewable energy efforts, the 25-MW solar array will help the plant self-generate 75% of its electric power needs with green energy — an important step toward fulfilling Holcim’s pledge to power all of its US operations with 100% renewable energy by 2030.
“The solar project on 100 acres of Holcim’s Alpena property is another powerful example of the investment we are willing to make to address sustainability with urgency,” said Atl Martinez, VP of procurement at Holcim. “With new initiatives launching across the US, Holcim’s momentum to transform our operations, lower our carbon footprint and reach net-zero has never been greater.”
The announcement follows the recent opening of an innovative tire-derived fuel (TDF) facility at the Alpena plant. Holcim launched the $7.4 million initiative to safely and cleanly convert 22,000 tons of tires per year into energy to help fuel the plant. Built with support from the State of Michigan, the facility will allow the plant to sustainably reduce its reliance on fossil fuels and other natural resources, while diverting tires from landfills and streams.
On the horizon, the plant is planning upgrades to its dock used to barge materials on the Great Lakes. Funded in part through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Maritime Administration’s Small Shipyard Grant Program with the City of Alpena, the dock improvements will accommodate larger vessels, which will lead to fewer trips to transport goods and a reduction in CO2 emissions from Lakes transportation.
The array will be optimized for maximum energy yield with fixed-tilt high-performance bifacial solar panels that generate power on both the front and back sides.
NorthStar Clean Energy will implement the solar solution and Holcim is expected to receive approximately 35,000 MWh of clean power from the project per year under a Solar Equipment Service Contract with a minimum term of 20 years.
Construction of the renewable energy system will begin this year. Commercial operations are expected to begin in December 2024.
News item from Holcim