• Lightsource BP will go ahead with the development of a 50 MW solar power plant in the UK
  • The project has secured planning approval from the administration to come up near Castle Eden in Durham
  • To be equipped with bifacial solar panels with possibility to add storage component, the project will produce power for corporate offtakers
  • Lightsource BP’s majority shareholder BP has committed $70 million in GGEF with a view to investing in the Indian renewable energy space

The UK administration has given its planning approval for a 50 MW solar power plant proposed by local PV projects developer Lightsource BP. The company plans to use bifacial solar panels and it may include a storage component and tracker axis mounting solutions.

The Hulam Solar Farm will come up near Castle Eden in Durham, UK and add to the company’s 300 MW solar project portfolio for which it has secured planning permission. Its cumulative development pipeline is around 1 GW.

The management said it will develop the 50 MW project with a view to eventually sell power generated under corporate power purchase agreements (PPA).

“This project, and others like it, are an important part of the UK’s transition to a low-carbon future and offers an opportunity for businesses to secure predictably priced renewable electricity long term,” said Conor McGuigan, Lightsource BP’s Director of Business Development for Europe. “Receiving approval for this site is a strong step towards meeting the global rise in energy demand efficiently and more sustainably,” he added.

The project will be funded and operated by the company whose majority owner is global oil giant BP plc. In May 2019, it proposed a 49.9 MW Bilsthorpe Solar Farm in Nottinghamshire, UK.

In a related development, BP expressed its seriousness to invest in the Indian renewable energy sector by committing $70 million into the Green Growth Equity Fund (GGEF) that includes investments from the Indian and UK governments. The fund is managed by EverSource Capital, a joint venture between Lightsource BP and Everstone Capital. At final close, the fund is expected to have about $700 million commitment and grow further. BP will co-invest in select projects alongside GGEF.

“Our investment in GGEF will aim to rapidly scale-up commercially viable low carbon solutions. The portfolio and scale of investments made by GGEF – be it in solar power, mobility solutions or sustainable infrastructure management – is extraordinary. Each one of these will help India achieve its climate goals,” said Sashi Mukundan, President of BP India and Senior Vice President of BP Group, a company that aims to become a net-zero entity latest by 2050.