BP’s existing renewables pipeline stands at 20 GW, dominated by solar developer Lightsource BP’s contribution. London-based Lightsource BP’s development pipeline now stretches to 16.1 GW, up tenfold from when BP first took a stake in the business in 2017.

“Lightsource BP clearly has a large and geographically diversified portfolio of solar PV assets, but it’s worth taking these numbers with a pinch of salt,” said Heggarty.

“Those are likely to be at varying stages of development. Some may have grid connection and PPAs (auctioned or otherwise) secured, others may be much earlier-stage with a greater chance of being abandoned.”

Heggarty added that competition is strengthening in large-scale renewable markets, meaning that “they’ll also — potentially — need to be willing to accept lower returns to win competitive auctions.”

Sanyal said Lightsource BP would continue looking to acquire portfolios of “very early-stage” solar projects where it can add additional value.

Options away from solar

Solar may dominate BP’s plans for renewables today, but it’s not the only show in town. BP’s recent strategic partnership with Equinor in the U.S. offshore wind market gives it a stake in another 4.4 GW portfolio, and Sanyal confirmed that BP wants to expand into other offshore wind markets, although he did not provide further details.

BP’s onshore wind capacity in the U.S. stands at 1.7 GW, and the company gets a smaller contribution from its BP Bunge biofuel business in Brazil — “the Saudi Arabia of biofuel,” as BP’s chief economist Spencer Dale called it.

In addition to its firmer 20 GW portfolio of completed or development projects, Sanyal said the company has options on 21 GW of “early-stage” opportunities. These include building on its onshore wind business in the U.S.

As the company chases its 50 GW target, it’s reasonable to expect BP will make more project acquisitions across all technologies.

Source: greentechmedia