BP will buy a 43 percent stake in solar energy company Lightsource for $200 million, the British oil producer said on Friday, marking its return to the solar sector.
The investment, a fraction of the approximately $17 billion BP has spent in 2017, comes six years after BP wrote down billions on its first foray into solar, when its panel manufacturing business struggled with competition from China.
“We’re excited to be coming back to solar, but in a new and very different way,” Chief Executive Bob Dudley said.
London-based Lightsource, to be renamed Lightsource BP, will target the growing demand for large-scale solar projects. The company has a 6 gigawatt (GW) growth pipeline largely focused on the US, India, Europe and the Middle East, BP said. Lightsource has commissioned 1.3 GW of solar capacity to date and manages about 2 GW of capacity under long-term operations and maintenance contracts.
BP will pay $50 million when the deal is completed, with the balance paid in instalments over three years, it said. Two decades ago, BP had set out to transcend oil, adopting a sunburst logo to convey its plans to pour $8 billion over a decade into renewable technologies, even promising to power its gas stations with the sun.— Reuters