- bp will acquire the remaining 50.03% stake in its solar PV JV Lightsource bp for £254 million
- It is aimed at helping meet the company’s growing demand for low carbon power
- bp also sees the acquisition of this solar PV platform bringing in double-digit equity returns
British multinational oil and gas producer bp plc has agreed to take over complete ownership of its solar development joint venture (JV) Lightsource bp with a base equity value of £254 million ($322 million). It says the group will continue to target double-digit equity returns from this solar business.
Lightsource bp is a profitable business with an underlying EBITDA of £287 million for full year 2022. The company currently operates in 19 countries with a 61 GW development pipeline. It aims to grow its total developed solar portfolio globally to 25 GW by 2025 (see Lightsource BP Targeting 25 GW Solar By 2025).
bp will become the owner of Lightsource bp after it completes the acquisition of 50.03% interest it does not yet own in the latter. The fossil-fuel giant had previously acquired 43% stake in Lightsource bp in December 2017, and announced a decision to raise it to 50% in December 2019. Around 4 years later, it now wants to take it over entirely.
During the meantime, bp developed its Gas and Low Carbon Energy vertical that’s now headed by ex-RWE Renewables senior Executive Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath (see New Chief For BP’s Gas & Low Carbon Energy Business). By 2030, it aims to grow its net renewable generating capacity to around 50 GW, representing a 20-fold increase from 2019.
The company explains that this integration is expected to underpin and de-risk delivery of bp’s targets for its transition growth engines – in hydrogen, EV charging and biofuels as well as in power trading.
“This is a natural evolution of the partnership we have built over the past six years – now we will be able to take Lightsource bp to the next level of profitable growth and performance,” said Dotzenrath. “We will continue to scale this successful business, and also apply its capabilities and expertise to help meet bp’s growing demand for low carbon power from our transition growth engines.”
The transaction, structured and priced to be ‘highly competitive,’ is expected to close in mid-2024. In early-2024, bp Senior Vice President, Finance for Gas and Low Carbon Energy, Joaquin Oliveira will be seconded from bp to take up the role of co-CEO of Lightsource bp.