October 5, 2018 Read More →

Colorado regulators approve Xcel plan to power steel mill with solar

S&P Global Market Intelligence ($):

Colorado regulators approved an EVRAZ PLC subsidiary’s unique agreement with Xcel Energy Inc. for the steel company to have a 240-MW solar plant built on its mill property in Pueblo, Colo.

Xcel Energy subsidiary Public Service Co. of Colorado on Aug. 15 applied to the Colorado Public Utilities Commission for approval of a special energy services agreement and rates the utility said would enable EVRAZ to use power generated by the solar plant for its operations.

EVRAZ is Xcel Energy’s largest retail electric customer in Colorado and now receives service directly through transmission lines from the Comanche Generating Station. Xcel Energy plans to close two units of the coal power plant with a total capacity of 660 MW as part of its Colorado Energy Plan.

The commission on Sept. 10 approved the plan, which Xcel Energy said was essential for clearing the path for EVRAZ to build the solar plant. Allowing solar to replace coal will free up transmission capacity for the solar plant to export surplus energy and for the mill to receive power from other sources when solar output diminishes, according to Xcel Energy spokesman Mark Stutz.

An as yet unnamed third-party independent power producer will build and own the solar facility for EVRAZ, and no information was available as to when the plant will be built. Details remain confidential because the EVRAZ board of directors has not yet approved the facility, Stutz said.

EVRAZ said its ability to maintain stable energy costs at its Pueblo mill is critical to its decision to continue operating that facility, which employs about 1,000 workers. With the pending closure of the coal plant, EVRAZ alternatively planned to move its mill operations to the southeast U.S.

More ($): Colorado approves agreement for steel mill to replace coal plant with solar

Comments are closed.