Lightsource BP secures $1.8bn finance for solar plans
Global solar company Lightsource BP has secured a $1.8bn credit and trade finance facility from 10 entities that will help fuel its new global growth strategy of developing 25 GW of solar by 2025, it said September 20. This is rapid acceleration: it has developed 2.8 GW solar energy capacity since December 2017, when BP bought a 43% stake in the UK company. The UK oil major increased its ownership to 50% in late 2019.
BP has expanded its activities outside its traditional integrated oil and gas production and marketing, a move that has gained momentum under CEO Bernard Looney.
The solar growth will come from a mix of greenfield projects, acquisitions and joint projects and is expected to create over 500 new jobs within Lightsource BP over the next four years.
Lightsource is also developing a 9-GW portfolio exclusively for BP. Lightsource BP said renewables investments were now being measured in billions, not millions. "And big companies like Amazon, McDonald’s and eBay are switching to clean energy. This trend proves that renewables are mainstream and solar is playing a key role in addressing the climate crisis."
Lightsource BP has developed more than 30 projects, "which today have consistently delivered 8%-10% returns," it said. In the US, the company has a portfolio of almost 10 GW including more than 1.9 GW entering into operations or construction in the last 18 months alone.