Bighorn Solar: Clean energy to power a local Colorado steel mill

07/12/2020

This is the latest project supported by Societe Generale to help promote the world's energy transition.

Bighorn, a solar project made possible through an innovative partnership between Xcel Energy, a large U.S. regional utility, EVRAZ North America, a leading steel producer, and Lightsource bp, a developer of solar energy facilities around the world, is currently under construction in Pueblo Colorado on EVRAZ Rocky Mountain Steel mill property.

Once the solar farm is operational, EVRAZ will be the first steel mill in North America to rely primarily on solar power. The EVRAZ steel mill turns recycled scrap metal into new, clean steel, including steel for the most sustainable rail in the world.

The solar project is expected to begin commercial operation by late 2021.

The project is notable for not only being uniquely collaborative but also for its positive local economic impact. The project is expected to create 300 direct jobs on-site during the 12 to 14-month construction period, with the majority of the workers hired from the local community. The increasingly competitive price of solar energy also ensures that Bighorn is a key component in providing for long-term budget certainty for the steel mill, helping to keep the 1000 local workers employed in Pueblo.

Beyond stimulating economic growth, the project will also help Colorado reach its goal of 100% renewable energy by 2040.

Societe Generale is one of the three Mandated Lead Arrangers on the project. This is Societe Generale's first time financing a project with Lighthouse bp, which plans to grow its renewable energy business in the U.S.

With a global presence and recognized expertise in the energy sector, Societe Generale is a leader in renewable energy finance and is strongly engaged in fighting against global warming by supporting its clients and power producers' transition towards smart and clean energy.

Societe Generale has achieved its commitment to contribute €100 billion to financing the energy transition between 2016 and 2020, a year ahead of schedule. The bank has a target to help raise €120 billion between 2019 and 2023 through a range of sustainable financing solutions, including via credit, bonds, and advisory.

As a pioneer in the development of renewable energies over the last 20 years, Societe Generale continues to forge ahead. As of September 2020, it was ranked N°1 worldwide in the financing of renewable energies (IJGlobal).

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