March 24

TotalEnergies’ solar-plus-storage project to offset 40% of power demand at Colorado cement plant


French energy major TotalEnergies has partnered with building solutions company Holcim to deploy a solar PV and battery storage project at the latter’s cement plant in Colorado.

A power purchase agreement (PPA) and energy storage agreement have been signed with minimum 15-year terms, for the power plant, pairing a 33MWdc solar PV array and 38.5MWh battery energy storage system (BESS).

TotalEnergies will be responsible for installation and operations and maintenance (O&M), with the system expected to be commissioned in 2025, Holcim said earlier this week.

It is expected to cover around 40% of energy demand at Holcim’s Portland Cement plant in the Colorado city of Florence. The plant produces 1.8 million tonnes per year of various grades of cement, opened in 1996.

Portland Cement already has various environmental technologies installed, such as a desulfurization scrubber that removes over 90% of sulfur dioxide emissions and dust collection systems that reduce its nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions, according to a Holcim factsheet.

Cement production, like steel or various chemicals, is considered a difficult industry sector to decarbonise fully, partly due to the requirement for quality high-temperature heat in addition to power.

As a company, Holcim is targeting the powering of all its US operations with renewable energy by 2050.

The battery storage system will reduce Portland Cement’s draw of power from the grid, which should help Holcim manage its own costs of electricity through peak shaving – commercial and industrial (C&I) electricity customers in most of the US are charged a higher cost of electricity drawn from the grid during coincident peaks.

This can account for a significant portion of costs, while the reduction of the site’s demand will help the local grid. has asked TotalEnergies for a few more details on the BESS, such as whether Saft, the France-headquartered battery manufacturer and BESS manufacturer/integrator that TotalEnergies owns will be the technology provider. This story will be updated in due course on receipt of answers for that and a couple of other enquiries.

The solar PV array meanwhile will feature bifacial modules on a single-axis tracking system. Through the PPA and energy storage agreement, Holcim will receive roughly 71,000MWh of power per year.

TotalEnergies is one of the very few legacy energy companies with its business based around fossil fuels that has implemented a net zero target, for 2050, in line with many national economies’ policy targets.

The company wants to reach 100GW of renewable generation by 2030, with an interim 2025 target of 35GW, around double the 17GW installed renewable energy capacity it had in its portfolio as of the end of 2022.’ publisher Solar Media will host the 5th Energy Storage Summit USA, 28-29 March 2023 in Austin, Texas. Featuring a packed programme of panels, presentations and fireside chats from industry leaders focusing on accelerating the market for energy storage across the country. For more information, go to the website.


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