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Decrepit steel mill that once was the world’s largest getting a surprising second life: ‘A welcome and positive rebirth’

At one point, it employed 30,000 workers.

At one point, it employed 30,000 workers.

Photo Credit: iStock

Over time, changes in the market, manufacturing, and technology have closed the doors on what were once thriving industrial operations that supported whole communities. 

Bethlehem Steel, near the Port of Baltimore, was one of those operations that faded with time, Electrek reports. Now, however, the site will take on new life as US Wind repurposes part of the land to manufacture turbines for generating wind power.

Bethlehem Steel was founded in 1887 and became the largest steel producer in the world in the 1950s, Electrek explains. At one point, it employed 30,000 workers, some of whom lived at the facility. However, the mill went bankrupt and closed permanently in 2012.

In 2021, US Wind, a developer that has created multiple offshore wind farms, announced that it would use 90 acres of the sprawling Bethlehem steel mill site to build its new manufacturing plant, Sparrows Point Steel. There, it will produce components for its wind farm projects — potentially serving the whole East Coast in the future.

Producing more wind power is great news for Maryland residents since this energy source is clean and affordable. Texas residents save $20 million a day through a combination of wind and solar, and other states can start to tap into these energy sources, too.

At the same time, the more we rely on non-polluting clean energy, the less we’ll rely on oil and coal — energy sources that put toxic fumes and heat-trapping gases into the air, warming up the planet. We’re already starting to make the shift to relying on cleaner options.

Meanwhile, the mill itself is good news for residents. Such a huge manufacturing facility will supply jobs and bring money to the area, boosting the economy. Plus, according to Electrek, the remainder of the former Bethlehem Steel site is now being cleaned up, which is good for the environment.

“I’m a huge fan of adaptive reuse, and I’m also so excited by the revival of U.S. manufacturing in the EV and clean energy sectors due to the Biden administration’s Infrastructure Law and Inflation Reduction Act,” said Electrek’s Michelle Lewis about the project. “Sparrows Point Steel Mill won’t be as large as its predecessor, but it will be a welcome and positive rebirth for this long-abandoned site.”

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