Alton Steel just finished installing two solar arrays at its steel mill in Illinois totaling 6.5 MW. The projects, using Qcells solar panels, will provide 10% of the mill’s power. This is the second steel mill in the United States to invest in on-site solar. Qcells North America was the EPC on the project.
“We know that making steel requires a significant amount of energy and we know that energy comes at a high cost for our customers and the environment,” said Jim Hrusovsky, CEO of Alton Steel. “Sustainability must be a foundation of what we do, which is why we are working toward decarbonizing our process and using renewable sources to power the mill. This solar project is one of the steps Alton Steel is taking toward more sustainable steelmaking.”
Steel is known to be among the most energy-intensive products to make, with a large amount of energy coming from fossil fuels. This project enabled Alton Steel to repurpose a former brownfield to operate with domestically produced, clean and affordable power.
In addition to using on-site solar power, Alton Steel produces steel using an electric arc furnace, which generates 75% less carbon emissions than traditional steelmaking.
“This project – which has only room to grow – is proof that clean energy can power industrial customers,” said Qcells’ Sustainability Program Development Manager Shannon Geiger-Risdon.
News item from Qcells