Rebar top gun Nucor wires renewable energy into steelmaking loop

Sources: Nucor Corp., Charlotte, N.C.; CP staff

Leading concrete reinforcing steel producer and fabricator Nucor has signed a 15-year Virtual Power Purchase Agreement with EDF Renewables North America for 250 megawatts of new solar array-derived energy in Texas. A first for Nucor, the agreement positions EDF Renewables to add more clean energy to the South Central power grid and becomes the steel industry’s largest electricity procurement vehicle of its kind.

“Nucor 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,” says Nucor CEO Leon Topalian. “We are already North America’s largest recycler, and supporting the addition of more clean power to the regional grid via this agreement further demonstrates commitment to sustainable steelmaking.”

“Nucor’s decision to procure solar energy allows this project to move forward, provid[ing] an economic boost to the local economy through new construction jobs and expanded tax base,” adds EDF Renewables Executive Vice President Ryan Pfaff. 

Solar project construction is scheduled to begin in mid-2022, with electricity production anticipated the following year. Once completed, the solar facility’s expected annual output will be the equivalent of the electricity consumed by nearly 50,000 average-sized Texas homes.

GreenFront Energy Partners of Richmond, Va. acted as Nucor’s financial adviser on the Power Agreement. Northern California-based WattTime, a clean energy-focused subsidiary of the Rocky Mountain Institute, assisted the steelmaker with evaluating carbon dioxide emissions the transaction will avoid. 

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