BP acquires 9GW US solar portfolio, hands over to Lightsource to develop

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Lightsource BP’s 260MW Impact Solar Project in Texas was completed earlier this year. Image: Lightsource BP.

BP has secured an agreement to acquire 9GW of US solar projects from developer 7X Energy, a deal it says represents “a significant step” towards the company’s target of growing its net developed renewables capacity to 20GW by 2025.

The oil and gas major will pay Texas-headquartered 7X Energy US$220 million for the projects and 1GW of safe harbour equipment, with the acquisition expected to complete in the next 30 days.

According to BP, the acquired assets will generate returns of at least 8-10%, while increasing the company’s renewables pipeline from 14GW to 23GW.

The projects, spread across 12 US states, with the largest portfolios in Texas and the Midwest, will be developed by Lightsource BP, the solar joint venture (JV) that BP owns a 50% stake in. Assets totalling 2.2GW of generating capacity are slated to reach final investment decision by 2025, with the remaining progressing by 2030. 

“This transaction speaks volumes about the success of our JV with BP, and how we leverage each other’s strengths to realise our ambitions for solar and a low-carbon future,” said Nick Boyle, group CEO at Lightsource BP, who added that the deal positions Lightsource BP “as a growing force” in the US solar market.

Recent developments by the company in the US have seen it close financing for 316MW of Texan solar projects, one of which is backed by a proxy generation power purchase agreement with investment group Allianz Global, while in March it revealed it will develop 191MW of PV plants that will provide nearly half of the Pennsylvania state government’s electricity.

Elsewhere, Lightsource BP this week increased its global presence to 14 countries after securing a co-development partnership in Greece, adding to a similar deal last week in Portugal for a 1.35GW PV pipeline.

For BP, the 7X Energy project acquisition follows announcements last year that it will aim to have a 50GW renewables portfolio by 2030 and become net zero by 2050.

“With this purchase, we are continuing to put our strategy in action as we grow our renewables business in a deliberate and disciplined way. It brings us 9GW of high-quality solar projects in markets where we can create integrated renewable energy offers through our trading and customer franchises,” said Dev Sanyal, BP executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy.  

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