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Xcel Energy provides the energy that powers millions of homes and businesses across eight Western and Midwestern states. In September 2019, Xcel Energy, EVRAZ North America, and Lightsouce bp announced that they had formed an innovative long-term partnership to develop a 294 megawatt solar farm in Pueblo, Colorado in order to power the EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel mill facility. EVRAZ North America is a wholly owned subsidiary of EVRAZ plc, one of the largest vertically integrated steel and mining businesses in the world.
Lightsource bp will finance, build, own and operate the Bighorn Solar project and sell all the electricity it generates to Xcel Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement. It will be located on EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel property in Pueblo, making it the largest on-site solar facility dedicated to a single customer in the country.
EVRAZ North America is Xcel Energy’s largest retail electric customer in Colorado and one of Pueblo’s largest employers. With its 20-year, fixed rate structure, the project provides EVRAZ North America with predictable electricity prices and allows the mill, which employs about 1,000 workers, to stay in Pueblo and invest in its future. The project supports the broader Colorado Energy Plan, which will deliver 55% renewable energy to the grid by 2026 and reduce carbon emissions by 60%, as well as Xcel Energy’s bold vision to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050. Construction is expected to be completed by 2021.