UNITED STATES

Bighorn solar

300MW powering the world’s first steel mill to run almost entirely on solar power

About the Bighorn Solar project

One of Colorado’s largest solar projects, Bighorn Solar in the city of Pueblo entered commercial operation in December 2021. Lightsource bp developed, financed, and will continue to own and operate the 300 megawatt utility-scale solar project. Electricity generated from Bighorn Solar is delivered into the grid and purchased by Xcel Energy under a long-term power purchase agreement (PPA) with Lightsource bp. Xcel Energy is a major U.S. regulated electric and natural gas delivery company that serves approximately 3.7 million electricity and 2.1 million natural gas customers across parts of eight Midwestern and Western states.

Xcel Energy delivers electricity from Bighorn Solar to the EVRAZ North America Rocky Mountain Steel mill in Pueblo, one of the city’s largest employers. With its 20-year, fixed rate PPA structure, Bighorn Solar provides low-cost, stable electricity prices that the steel mill needed to stay in Pueblo and invest in its future there, supporting more than 1,000 jobs in the local community.

Bighorn Solar supports the broader Colorado Energy Plan, which will deliver 55% renewable energy to the grid by 2026 and reduce carbon emissions by 60%, as well as Xcel Energy’s bold vision to deliver 100% carbon-free electricity by 2050.

Xcel Energy and Lightsource bp are incredibly proud of this solar project, and the opportunities it offers the organizations and the local communities.

“If you were wondering what a renewable energy future would look like, this is a great example.”  – Colorado Governor Jared Polis, speaking at the announcement press conference

Key numbers

300MWᴅᴄ

/240MWᴀᴄ capacity

433,770

metric tons of CO2 saved per year

92,100

fuel-burning cars taken off road (equivalent)

300

local jobs created

$22M

local tax revenue

Current status

Site selection & preliminary design

Stakeholder outreach

Permitting & environmental studies

Land management & biodiversity planning

Final engineering, financing & construction

Operation & maintenance

Decommissioning & recycling

Responsible Solar Stories

Find out more about our Responsible Solar approach

Information and resources

We’ve put together a collection of resources for anyone who’d like to know more about utility-scale solar energy.

Connect with a community ambassador

Lightsource bp is dedicated to supporting communities that are home to our solar projects across America. That’s why we have an entire Community Relations team that works closely with our neighbors to maximize the positive social impacts of our projects. 

If you would like to connect with a Community Relations Manager, please email USCommunityRelations@lightsourcebp.com. 

Lightsource bp has been a proud supporter of Pueblo’s Minnequa Elementary and the Care & Share Food Pantry since 2020.

Photos from Bighorn Solar