It seems that even the oldest industries can be environmentally friendly. As we can read in the official announcement, EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel Factory in Colorado will be the first a solar smelter. Its energy needs will be almost entirely met by solar energy.
The first solar plant will start operating in a month
Of course, there is no such thing as “solar mills” in the world, but that phrase perhaps best describes the plan for a joint venture between Lightsource and BP, to which a total of $ 285 million has been allocated. This amount helped make the Bighorn Solar Project’s plan a reality and spread 750,000 solar panels on 1,800 acres of steel factory land.
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The solar farm is currently supplying energy to the local grid, but is expected to be fully operational next month and provide 300 MW of energy, meeting the annual energy needs of a nearby steel plant. This will make the plant, which currently converts scrap into steel products, become the world’s first solar-powered smelter.
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As the energy belongs to the plant itself, the price of the steel will not be affected, so the company will keep it at a competitive level with steel produced by traditional mills that use fossil fuels. The agreement will also help to maintain over 1,000 jobs and will prevent 433,770 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere each year.