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Saukville’s Solar Field Development: Investing in a Sustainable Future

March 13, 2024

Charter Steel is proud to share the exciting progress being made on our solar field project over the past few months, a significant leap in our ongoing commitment to a more sustainable and environmentally conscious future. According to Jeffrey Linn, Senior Project Manager, Electrical Operations, the project is well underway and “we’re optimistic about achieving initial power production as planned in May 2024.” 

In addition to shining a light on the impact solar power will have on steelmaking, the team foresees additional wins as the system will reduct carbon emissions as well.  

Mild Weather, Major Progress for Solar Project 

The solar field development gained great headwinds from Wisconsin's mild fall and winter weather, providing a positive backdrop to our construction efforts. Despite this advantage, the project schedule was built to be robust enough to handle extreme weather conditions, should they arise. 

We want to assure our community that we are committed to being good neighbors. The installation process includes the building of berms to obscure the line of sight, so that our neighbors experience a landscape enriched with trees and plants. It is important to us to make this space feel as green as the sustainable future we envision. 

Solar Field Construction Work Completed to Date 

Several crucial tasks have been accomplished, marking major progress in our solar field development: 

  • Trenching for medium-voltage cables 

  • Laying of cables 

  • Berm composition 

  • Pile construction 

  • Fencing installed 

  • Rack installation 

  • Access road construction 

Energizing Movement and Milestones 

As we look ahead, we will witness the continuation of rack installation and cabling, as well as the installation of our solar panels planned for the field. The Charter Steel team, working to provide day-to-day project support, is confident in reaching the May 31, 2024 "energization" date, where we anticipate producing power for the first time. 

Post-energization, June is earmarked for hot commissioning, a critical phase where all elements of the system will be rigorously tested. To date, we’ve only been doing theoretical modeling. We cannot overemphasize the importance of meticulously scrutinizing the solar panels to ensure optimal performance, finally measuring the system’s efficiency in real “go mode.” 

Why Right Now is the Right Time to Invest in Solar Power 

“Charter Steel is always looking to make the company more energy efficient and improve reliability,” said Linn. 

The Future Forecast Calls for Sunshine 

As we navigate these milestones and get closer to making the Saukville solar field a reality, the Charter Steel team remains steadfast in our commitment to a greener and more sustainable future. We look forward to updating you on the continued progress of our solar field project as it unfolds in the coming months. Together, we're shaping steelmaking innovation to ensure a brighter tomorrow.