The Strategist

BP returns to the solar energy market

12/15/2017 - 14:27

British oil company BP announced buying a 43% stake in Lightsource, a company that works in the solar energy sector, for $ 200 million, thus celebrating its return to the solar energy market.

Mike Mozart via flickr
Mike Mozart via flickr
Two decades ago, BP intended to go beyond the oil market, planning to spend $ 8 billion over a decade on renewable energy technologies. The company was even going to connect its gas stations to solar energy power sources.

This transformation led to the production of BP's solar panels in Australia, Spain and the USA and the construction of wind farms in the US and the Netherlands. However, the company lost its business in 2011 due to increased competition with cheaper solar batteries from China.

At present, oil companies have relatively modest investments in a wide range of renewable technologies. "We are pleased to return to solar energy, but in a new way," said BP’s CEO Bob Dudley.

BP will pay Lightsource $ 50 million when the deal is completed, and the rest will be paid in installments within three years. Representatives of BP will take two seats on Lightsource’s board of directors, and the company will be renamed Lightsource BP.

Lightsource BP will focus on the growing demand for large-scale solar projects and will continue to develop and supply energy in the amount of 6 GW, which is mainly concentrated in the US, India, Europe and the Middle East.

In London, Lightsource has put into operation 1.3 GW of solar energy and manages a capacity of about 2 GW under long-term contracts for operation and maintenance.

BP expects to complete the deal in early 2018.