Empress Solar to power Lafarge Exshaw cement plant

The agreement follows efforts to also purchase wind power for the plant.

Lafarge’s Exshaw plant is shifting over to renewable energy sources. – Province of Alberta

Lafarge’s Exshaw plant is harnessing the sun to make cement. 

Canada and ATCO announced that they have entered into a 12.5-year virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA). Under this agreement, Lafarge’s Exshaw cement plant will receive 100% of the solar energy produced by the 38.5-megawatt Empress Solar project, meeting 34% of the plant’s power requirements through 2036.

The Empress solar project covers 280 acres south of the village of Empress, Alberta, and consists of 89,000 solar panels.

“We’re continually assessing ways we can reduce our environmental impact while actively pursuing sustainable solutions within our operations,” said Brad Kohl, president and CEO of Lafarge Canada (West). “Our collaboration with ATCO underscores our commitment to adopting renewable energy at our plants and sites, which is key to reducing our reliance on fossil fuels.”

Lafarge’s continued expansion into renewable energy in Alberta aligns with the company’s broader strategy, Accelerating Green Growth while emphasizing its ongoing investments to lower the carbon footprint of its operations and scope 2 emissions. Notably, Lafarge’s Exshaw cement plant has now committed to power purchase agreements for both wind and solar energy, setting an industry precedent.

“This agreement represents the strides we are making to support our customers in meeting their clean energy goals,” said Bob Myles, COO, ATCO EnPower. “We are proud to be at the forefront of the energy transition, and in a position to provide solutions to customers like Lafarge in reducing their carbon emissions.”

Under the agreement, Lafarge will offtake 100% of the power generated from the Empress Solar project, which is scheduled to commence commercial operations this month. The Empress Solar project is expected to generate enough renewable energy to offset approximately 43,000 tonnes of carbon per year. 


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