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PUEBLO, Colorado (October 1, 2020) – 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.
“This collaborative project will not only bring more jobs to Pueblo, but also supports Colorado’s goal of reaching 100% renewable energy by 2040. The EVRAZ steel mill is a staple of Pueblo’s incredible history and will now also serve as a pillar of our state’s clean energy future.”
– Governor Jared Polis
Lightsource bp secured tax equity financing for the project from Bank of America. The debt for the facility was provided by the following Mandated Lead Arrangers:
The balance of the equity requirements will be invested by Lightsource bp. CohnReznick Capital was engaged as the tax equity advisor for the project.
“Partnership with these leading investment institutions enables us to work together to achieve our shared ambitions for a sustainable and profitable future. With their support, along with that of our local partners, we’re materially benefitting the environment as well as Colorado’s economy – delivering affordable and clean energy that the world demands and needs.”
– Kevin Smith
CEO of the Americas for Lightsource bp
“We are excited to see Lightsource bp taking the next step toward building the Bighorn Solar project. This collaboration between Xcel Energy, EVRAZ North America and Lightsource bp is proof that when innovative companies work together we can create jobs, stimulate economic growth, and support our communities and the environment.”
– Alice Jackson
President, Xcel Energy Colorado
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 who 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.”
– Skip Herald
President and Chief Executive Officer of EVRAZ North America