Lafarge Canada Inc. and ATCO Ltd., through its investment in Canadian Utilities Limited, announced on October 5 that the companies entered into a 12.5-year ‘virtual power purchase agreement’ that will provide more than one-third of Lafarge’s Exshaw cement plant with renewable energy through 2036.

The company said that the annual supply of 79.9 gigawatt-hours of clean energy for Lafarge will provide 100% of the solar energy produced by the 38.5-megawatt Empress Solar project, meeting 34% of the plant’s power requirements through 2036.

"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, a Holcim company, announced that its continued expansion into renewable energy in Alberta aligns with its broader ‘Accelerating Green Growth’ strategy while emphasizing its ongoing investments to lower the carbon footprint of its operations and scope 2 emissions. 

The company added that Lafarge's Exshaw cement plant has now committed to power purchase agreements for 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, marking a step towards a more sustainable energy landscape in Alberta. 

The Empress Solar project is expected to generate enough renewable energy to offset approximately 43,000 tons of carbon annually. 

Once operational, the facility will further drive ATCO´s commitment to meeting ATCO’s 2030 ESG target of owning, developing, or managing over 1,000 MW of renewable energy.

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