Nucor signs PPA with NextEra Energy to support solar development in Kentucky

Next era energy

Steel product manufacturer Nucor Corp. has signed a PPA for 250 MW of renewable energy from Sebree Solar LLC, a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources LLC. Sebree Solar is a two-phase solar project in Henderson County, Kentucky, which will have a capacity of up to 400 MW of U.S.-produced energy. The project’s first phase — Sebree Solar I — is set to begin construction in Fall 2023.

“Nucor’s success in Kentucky has grown significantly in recent years, with major new investments and jobs helping to expand the reach of its steel products,” said Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear. “Whether it’s electric vehicles or cutting-edge metals manufacturing, Kentucky is emerging as a national leader in creating the jobs of the future. I look forward to Nucor’s continued success here and am happy to welcome NextEra Energy Resources to the commonwealth for what we hope will be another long and prosperous relationship.”

The steel for Sebree Solar I will be sourced from Nucor Steel Gallatin in Ghent, Kentucky. Steel from Nucor Steel Gallatin will also be used for another solar project to be built and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, Green River Solar, in Meade and Breckinridge counties. The Green River Solar project will generate up to 200 megawatts of electricity. The Kentucky-produced steel will be used for the racking system which supports the projects’ solar panels. 

“We are delighted to work with NextEra Energy Resources, and to be a key material supplier to this important addition to the power grid in Kentucky where we have grown our presence considerably in recent years,” said Greg Murphy, executive VP of business services and general counsel at Nucor.  “Our country’s energy transition will be built with steel and the steel it is built with should be produced sustainably. And while Nucor is already among the world’s cleanest and most sustainable steel producers, this agreement will enable us to further reduce our climate footprint and meet our goals for improvement.”

Sebree Solar I is anticipated to begin commercial operation in December 2025. Over its 30-year lifespan, it will contribute approximately $20 million in additional tax revenue to Henderson County, which can be used for roads, schools, and other public services.

“This project will unleash a wave of workforce development in western Kentucky, benefiting countless families by expanding job opportunities. By collaborating with companies like Nucor and NextEra Energy Resources, Kentucky will continue to be a leader in transformative projects that strengthen our economy and establish us as a prominent force in steel manufacturing and energy production throughout North America,” said Kentucky Senate President Robert Stivers. “As a state committed to prioritizing our residents’ energy security, I appreciate the benefits of projects that are designed to generate energy that will be placed on our electric energy grid.”

This new PPA advances Nucor’s broader sustainability strategy and complements a wind-powered PPA that Nucor signed in 2021. The company has agreed to off-take a total of 350 MW of carbon-free electricity through these two PPAs.

“This solar energy project will generate low-cost, homegrown energy and provide millions of dollars in additional tax revenue to Henderson County over the life of the project,” said Rebecca Kujawa, president and CEO of NextEra Energy. “Constructing our project from steel made sustainably and locally will help drive economic development in Kentucky.” 

Kentucky House Speaker David Osborne added: “The construction of Sebree will lead to substantial orders for Nucor’s Ghent facility and millions of megawatt hours of Kentucky-generated solar energy added to our electricity grid. I appreciate the leadership that made this deal possible and look forward to seeing the positive impact it will have for generations.”

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