240-megawatt solar facility planned for Pueblo steel mill

Bighorn Solar Artist Rendering

Xcel Energy, EVRAZ North America and Lightsource BP announced today they have reached a long-term agreement to develop a new 240-megawatt solar facility in Pueblo.

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PUEBLO, Colo. — Xcel Energy has announced a partnership to develop a 240-megawatt solar facility at a Pueblo steel mill.

The facility will be located at the EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel facility. Lightsource BP will finance, build and own the “Bighorn Solar” facility and sell the energy to Xcel under a long-term power purchase agreement, the three companies said in a Friday statement.

The companies said “the project provides EVRAZ North America with predictable electricity prices and allows the mill, which employs about 1,000 workers, to stay in Pueblo.”

Rates were not disclosed in the announcement, though the companies said the agreement provides EVRAZ with fixed rates through 2041.

The Colorado Public Utilities Commission must perform a final review of the agreement.

The $250 million solar facility is expected to create about 300 jobs and generate about $22 million in property-tax revenue, according to the companies. It’s expected to begin operation by the end of 2021.

Xcel touted the project is part of its goal to deliver 55 percent renewable energy to the grid by 2026 and reduce carbon emissions by 60 percent.

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