Steel made from recycled materials is decarbonizing offshore wind production
Supply Chain Constraints Delay Clean Power
As part of the global effort to limit warming to 1.5°C, the United States is rapidly scaling up clean energy technologies and putting the power sector on a path to decarbonization by 2035.1 This includes a bold ambition to deploy 30 gigawatts (GW) of offshore wind capacity energy by 2030, an ambition that will require 7 million tons of steel in the construction of wind towers. Building this capacity will provide enough energy to cleanly power all the homes in Los Angeles, Chicago, and Houston combined for a year and avoid 78 million metric tons of CO2 emissions.2
But clean power capacity is currently running well behind that schedule due to supply chain constraints that arose during the pandemic and have been exacerbated by increased demand and rising production costs. If deployment were to continue at the current pace, the U.S. would have only 30% of the infrastructure required for a carbon-free power sector by 2035.3
Rendered flyover video of offshore windfarm
Conforms to EuroNorm 10025 and 10225
Nucor Steel Brandenburg
Anticipated by year end 2023
1.2M tons per year
Only offshore wind plate manufactured in the USA
90% recycled content
Greenhouse gas (GHG) intensity less than 1/3 the global extractive steelmaking average using blast furnaces for Scope 1, 2, and 3 emissions
Can be certified Econiq™ for further reduced GHG intensity
The First Sustainable Steel Product of Its Kind
In 2023, Nucor introduced Elcyon™ to meet the growing demands of America's offshore wind energy producers. Elcyon is a sustainable, heavy gauge steel plate product manufactured with superior strength and toughness and made to meet the rigorous quality standards of offshore wind energy designers, manufacturers, and fabricators.
Elcyon contains more than 90% recycled content and is made using Nucor's scrap-based electric arc furnace (EAF) manufacturing process. Nucor is a leading pioneer in this circular process with an emissions intensity that is less than one-third the global average of extractive steelmaking methods using blast furnaces for Scope 1, 2 and 3 emissions.
Like all Nucor steel, Elcyon can also be certified Econiq™ signifying that it was produced using electricity from 100% renewable sources (eliminating Scope 2 emissions), with remaining Scope 1 emissions offset.
Elcyon is the first and only domestically manufactured steel plate available in offshore wind sizes and piece weights, making it a critical component of the U.S. supply chain and a key step on the path to a carbon-free energy sector. Relative to alternatives, Elcyon offers energy stakeholders efficient, reliable access to material, accelerated delivery timelines, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions associated with transport and delivery.
If we produced the 2030 US target wind capacity using Nucor steel instead of blast furnace steel, we would avoid 12.5M tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
That’s equivalent to taking almost every car off the streets of Los Angeles for one year.
Image of offshore wind tower
Nucor is developing the product at its Brandenburg, Kentucky facility and anticipates commercial release by the end of 2023. Nucor Steel Brandenburg is the first steel plant in the world to achieve LEED v4 certification, the US Green Building Council’s most stringent standard for sustainable building design and operation.4
Nucor plans to offer Elcyon in a range of grades and sizes, working closely with end users to meet their unique needs, specifications, and sustainability goals. By connecting industry leaders with sustainable solutions like Elcyon, Nucor is committed to building the clean energy sector of the future, and the sustainable economy it will power.