BP to buy 43% stake in leading solar energy business

Published: 19 Dec 2017 By Matt Cook

British oil producer BP announced last week it would buy a 43% share in solar energy business Lightsource for a total of $200 million. Once the deal is complete, BP will pay Lightsource a total of $50 million over a three year period. BP will also have two seats on the board of directors. BP has said this investment will fund the forecasted growth of Lightsource over this period.

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Source: CNBC

After the deal is delivered, the company will be rebranded and renamed to Lightsource BP. Lightsource BP will research the growing demand for large solar projects and will focus on delivering it schedules 6GW growth plan including development projects in the US, India, Europe and the Middle East.

Lightsource and BP have highlighted that this deal will create a strategic partnership, bringing the solar expertise of Lightsource together with the global scale, relationships and trading capabilities of oil giant BP. (Source: BP)


Chief executive of BP, Bob Dudley emphasizes that BP has been committed to progressing with low carbon energy sources for over twenty years and are excited to be working with the solar industry, in new and different ways. (Source: BP).


The founder and group CEO of Lightsource, Nick Boyle believes the partnership with BP makes strategic sense and the combined forces will accelerate the transition towards a low carbon future. 


BP believes Lightsource will grow value to the business by developing and maintaining a range of solar projects worldwide. Dudley believes the combination of Lightsource’s expertise and experience along with the resources and relationships BP can offer will expand the innovation in this business rapidly.


In the Energy Outlook report delivered by BP, the company highlights solar as a key part of the future, with forecasts of generating approximately a third of total renewable energy by 2035. Lightsource has vast experience in development of long-term and large-scale solar projects worldwide. It is Europe’s largest solar developer and operator and has commissioned nearly 1.3GW of solar capacity to this current day.


Within BP is an alternative energy side of the business, which includes wind power, biofuels, and biopower. BP wind energy focuses on the onshore wind development across the US, with a total capacity standing at 2.3GW. Lightsource BP will focus on large-scale projects, with a specific target on grid-connected facilities and corporate power purchases (PPAs) agreed with private businesses. 


The chief executive for Alternative Energy at BP, Dev Sanyal explained that by integrating solar with their existing alternative energy business, we can create significant opportunities to generate cost-effective, secure and low carbon energy solutions. Sanyal believes Lightsource has a similar vision as BP and together they can become the global market leader in solar energy.

Completion of the deal is expected to happen in early 2018.

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