the world becomes more and more focused on limiting the global temperature
rise, industries across the planet are working to limit their emissions and use
of fossil fuels where possible, including giants such as Amazon, Apple and
this boom in demand for renewable energy technologies, steel-making facilities
are increasingly exploring the opportunities that solar represents for steel
is a resource- and emissions-heavy industry but is also one that plays a vital
role in producing the materials needed for the transition to a more sustainable
global economic model. Wind turbines, solar farms, hydroelectric dams, and
more, are all steel-intensive infrastructure that underpin renewable energy
the world is to successfully limit the impacts of climate change, it will be
relying on steel to help it get there. The industry has been hard at work on improving the
efficiency of its operations – producing a tonne of steel takes
40% less energy than it did in 1960 – and solar is set to play a key role in
improving steel’s sustainability.
solar power in its production allows EVRAZ to create more sustainable steel.
The world’s first solar-powered steel mills
steel production uses large amounts of fossil fuel energy to generate the
temperatures needed, but the industry is working hard to find alternative ways
of powering this process. Indeed, three of the world’s top steel producing
companies are already taking the leap towards solar powered steel production.
Pueblo, Colorado, EVRAZ North America has announced that solar energy will power its
steelmaking operations there. The Pueblo site operates an Electric Arc Furnace that
can produce finished steel from recycled ferrous scrap, making it Colorado’s
largest recycler, and its recently unveiled Bighorn solar project will reduce
emissions and make the mill the world’s first to be powered largely by solar
steelmaking techniques allow EVRAZ to create longer rails, meaning safer,
quieter train journeys.
project boasts a 300-MW DC / 240 MW AC solar field located on 7.3 km2 of land,
making it the largest on-site solar facility in the US dedicated to a single
customer. The site’s 750,000 solar panels provide nearly all the plant’s annual
pioneering partnership will make EVRAZ North America the industry leader in the
use of renewable energy to produce the greenest steel and engineered steel
products in the world, from rail to rod & bar,” said James Skip Herald,
president and CEO of EVRAZ North America.
a North American steel producer, is also working on a 250MW
of solar energy project to be constructed in Texas. Unlike the
single site Pueblo facility, this project will produce electricity that will
power Nucor’s entire North American operations.
Nucor project involved the signing of a virtual power purchase agreement with
EDF renewables North America that will run for 15 years, in a deal that is the
largest of its kind for the steel industry.
is one of the most efficient and cleanest steel producers in the world and we
are always looking for ways to reduce our carbon footprint,” said Leon
Topalian, President and CEO of Nucor Corporation. “That is why we are proud to
make our production process even cleaner by supporting the development of this
solar energy project.”
is expected to begin in the summer of 2022 with electricity production slated
to begin in 2023.
the other side of the world, Tata Steel and Tata Power are
working together on a grid-connected 41MW solar project in
Jharkhand and Odisha, India. Using rooftop, floating and ground-mounted solar
panels, the project will produce solar power for the Jamshedpur and
Kalinganagar steel-making facilities, saving 45,210 tonnes of CO2 per year.
V Narendran, CEO & MD of Tata Steel, said, “We have taken several
definitive steps across the value chain to reinforce our sustainability
credentials. We will continue with our pursuit of clean energy solutions and
expand our renewable energy footprint.”
2017, the two companies also collaborated on the commissioning of a 3MW photovoltaic
power plant at Tata Steel’s iron ore mine in Noamundi. This made it the first
solar powered iron mine in the country, and underlined Tata Steel’s commitment
to whole lifecycle thinking in its approach to reducing the emissions
associated with steelmaking.
produced by these innovative companies will be among the greenest on the
planet, but as the industry increasingly moves away from coal powered
operations, the world’s steel is only set to get more sustainable.