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LafargeHolcim in the US Harnesses Solar Energy at Hagerstown Plant

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World Cement,

LafargeHolcim in the US announced the opening of a new solar field next to its Holcim Hagerstown Cement Plant in Maryland, which will provide clean, renewable energy for the facility’s operations. The company is seizing this opportunity at a time when solar is booming across residential and non-residential sectors, with more than 81 GW of solar capacity nationwide and an average annual growth rate of 59%.

“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 minimise 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 utilising 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% of the plant’s annual requirements. More importantly, the solar addition will prevent the equivalent of roughly 12 375 t of CO2 emissions from entering the environment. All electricity produced by the solar array will be used by the plant during operations.

“The positive impact the solar field will have on our environment and public health, is an important step, and 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 utilised renewables like solar and wind at four plant locations. Last year, three wind turbines were erected at the Lafarge cement plant in Paulding, OH, which now provide 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.”

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