BP is to acquire a 43% stake in prolific UK-based solar developer Lightsource in what stands to be a significant new solar partnership.
The duo will form a strategic partnership which will help fund Lightsource's worldwide solar pipeline. BP will pay US$200 million (£148 million) for the stake over three years and gain two seats on Lightsource's board of directors.
The company is to be renamed Lightsource BP in the process and will complement BP’s existing alternative energy business which has lacked a photovoltaic division.
Lightsource BP is to target demand for utility-scale solar projects, either connected to the grid or to corporates through private wire agreements, in the US, India, Europe and the Middle East.
It is now however BP’s first foray into photovoltaics. BP Solar – formed through various acquisitions in the 80s and 90s – was famously shuttered in late 2011 after years of sell-offs and factory closures.
At the time BP blamed “continuing global economic challenges” that had significantly impacted the solar industry, making it difficult for BP to achieve a return on its initial investment.
As a result solar had been somewhat neglected from BP’s alternative energy efforts, until now.
Bob Dudley, group chief executive at BP, said the company was “excited to be coming back to solar” after a six-year hiatus.
“While our history in the solar industry was centred on manufacturing panels, Lightsource BP will instead grow value through developing and managing major solar projects around the world. I am confident that the combination of Lightsource’s expertise and experience with BP’s relationships and resources will propel this innovative business to even more rapid growth,” he said.
You can read more on this story on PV-Tech's sister publication Solar Power Portal.
Nov 12, 2020
The webinar will feature presentations from Cherif Kedir, CEO at RETC and Finlay Colville, head of research at PV-Tech, covering the latest developments related to PV module testing, reliability and bankability. Specific attention will be afforded to RETC's hail durability testing (HDT) process, and PV-Tech's bankability analysis for utility scale deployment in the US today.
Mar 10 - Mar 12, 2021
Penang, Malaysia (also available virtually)
Understand fully the technical and logistical supply chains that determine the production and performance of solar modules, including all related factors impacting quality, reliability & bankability. This event will be run as a live event in Penang for delegates able to attend and will also welcome virtual delegates via streamed content and online networking.
Feb 03 - Feb 04, 2021
The business of solar is changing, as the industry scales up, technology, IT and new players to the market will add complexity. This sparks a host of opportunities such as co-location of solar and storage and the rise of unsubsidised solar projects as well as challenges which will question the very business model of European solar asset owners. Solar Finance & Investment Europe is the meeting place for institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds, solar, wind and storage funds and large energy buyers to do business.