bp Acquires 9GW Solar Portfolio in the US; Sets up New Digital Hub in India

In line with the target of growing its renewable energy capacity to 20 GW by 2025, energy giant bp has signed an agreement to buy 9 GW of solar development projects in the United States from 7X Energy, an independent US solar developer.

June 02, 2021. By Manu Tayal

In line with the target of growing its renewable energy capacity to 20 GW by 2025, energy giant bp has signed an agreement to buy 9 GW of solar development projects in the United States from 7X Energy, an independent US solar developer.

The deal will, further, grow bp’s renewables pipeline from 14 GW to 23 GW, and the assets will be developed through it’s 50-50 solar joint venture Lightsource bp.

Under the acquisition transaction, bp will pay $220 million to 7X Energy for the projects and 1 GW of “safe harbour” equipment. The transaction is expected to be complete in 30 days.

Further, the projects are expected to meet bp’s disciplined low carbon investment criteria, generating returns of at least 8-10 per cent.

Commenting on the asset acquisition, Dev Sanyal, executive vice president of gas and low carbon energy, bp said, “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.”

“bp’s new high-quality solar portfolio will provide low carbon energy, create US jobs and deliver the competitive returns our shareholders expect. In line with our strategy, we’ll aim to integrate these projects with our existing onshore and offshore wind, natural gas, and trading and shipping businesses to give customers what they want - reliable, affordable and clean energy,” said Dave Lawler, bp America chairman and president.

Meanwhile, these projects have been spread across 12 US states, with the largest portfolios in Texas and the Midwest. However, assets with a combined generating capacity of 2.2 GW are expected to reach final investment decision by 2025, with the remaining progressing by 2030.

In another significant development, London-headquartered bp has set up a new Digital Hub co-located within it’s major global business services (GBS) operations centre in Pune, India.

It is expected to be operational by July 2021, with an initial headcount of up to 100 digital engineering, data, information security and design specialists.

The new Digital Hub will create, grow and deliver a range of digital solutions to help transform bp’s core operations, extend its customer interfaces and support new and emerging business models.

Its teams will have the technical depth and capability to explore, experiment, develop and execute digital solutions. These will support the digitization of bp’s businesses - resilient hydrocarbons, customers & products and gas & low carbon energy - and also help deliver new energy and mobility solutions, which are both key to bp’s strategy and achieving its net zero ambition.

David Eyton, executive vice president, innovation & engineering, bp, said, “accelerating the digitization of bp’s businesses and operations is vital to our transformation into an integrated energy company, and India has the expertise we need to achieve this.  We expect to attract the highest-calibre digital talent to our new Hub to help take on these important challenges.”

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