LafargeHolcim in the U.S. opened a new solar field next to its Holcim Hagerstown Cement Plant in Maryland, which will provide clean, renewable energy for the facility’s operations. Built in partnership with Greenbacker Renewable Energy Co., the solar addition is expected to generate 10 MWac of energy on-peak – enough to provide about 25% of the plant’s annual requirements.
More importantly, the solar field will prevent the equivalent of roughly 12,375 tons of CO2 emissions from entering the environment. All electricity produced by the solar array will be used by the plant during operations.
“As solar technologies continue to improve, this abundant energy source stands out as both a sustainable and economical solution to follow through on our commitment to minimize emissions and reduce our carbon footprint,” said Jamie M. Gentoso, CEO of U.S. Cement operations at LafargeHolcim. “We already have access to large areas of land with a high concentration of sunlight, so utilizing solar energy is an easy decision.”
The Hagerstown solar array addition is part of a larger trend for the company, which has utilized renewables like solar and wind at four plant locations. Last year, three wind turbines were erected at the Lafarge cement plant in Paulding, Ohio, which now provides power to the plant that is both cheaper and cleaner than energy sourced from the grid.
“As we strive toward becoming a net-zero company, clean energy is a key part of our strategy,” said Gentoso. “During the next five years, we hope to install enough renewable energy to power all of our plants and give back to the surrounding communities; this new solar array is just the beginning for us.”