LafargeHolcim in the US announced the opening of a new solar field next to its Holcim Hagerstown Cement Plant in Maryland. This will provide clean, renewable energy for the facility’s operations. The company is seizing this opportunity at a time when solar is booming across both residential and non-residential sectors. With more than 81 GW of solar capacity nationwide and an average annual growth rate of 59%, the timing is great.
“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 US 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 solar field, built in partnership with Greenbacker Renewable Energy Company, begins operations in October 2020, and is expected to generate 10 MWac of energy on-peak, which is sufficient power to provide about 25 percent of the plant’s annual requirements. More importantly, the solar addition will prevent the equivalent of roughly 12,375 tons of CO2 emissions from entering the environment. All electricity from the solar array will be for the plant during operations.
“The positive impact the solar field will have on both our environment and public health, is an important step. I appreciate LafargeHolcim’s long-term commitment to Washington County,” said Jeffrey A. Cline, Chairman, Board of County Commissioners, Washington County, Maryland.
The solar array addition at Hagerstown 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. That plant 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. This will back to the surrounding communities. This new solar array is just the beginning for us.”
LafargeHolcim is the global leader in building materials and solutions and active in four business segments: Cement, Aggregates, Ready-Mix Concrete and Solutions & Products. Its ambition is to lead the industry in reducing carbon emissions and shifting towards low-carbon construction. With the strongest R&D organization in the industry, the company seeks to constantly introduce and promote high-quality and sustainable building materials and solutions to its customers worldwide – whether individual homebuilders or developers of major infrastructure projects. LafargeHolcim employs over 70,000 employees in over 70 countries. It also has a portfolio that is equally balanced between both developing and mature markets.
In the United States, LafargeHolcim companies include close to 350 sites in 43 states and also employ 7,000 people. Its customers rely on LafargeHolcim to help them design and build better communities. It aims to use innovative solutions that deliver both structural integrity and eco-efficiency.