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BP reportedly considering purchasing power from Lightsource BP


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BP reportedly considering purchasing power from Lightsource BP

BP PLC is reportedly in talks with Lightsource BP Renewable Energy Investments Ltd. to buy solar power for its operations in the U.S.

A deal to power BP operations in the U.S. with electricity generated by Lightsource BP projects could materialize within the next six months, Lightsource BP Chief Commercial Officer Katherine Ryzhaya told Bloomberg News.

Ryzhaya, who is based in San Francisco, and representatives of BP in London did not respond to a request for comment.

British oil major BP acquired a 43% interest in Lightsource BP for $200 million in 2017, re-entering the solar space after a six-year absence. BP divested its 51% stake in a solar joint venture with India's Tata Power Co Ltd in 2011.

Lightsource BP, which launched in 2010 as Lightsource Energy, started its effort to expand into the U.S. in 2017. In January, the company announced it hired former SolarReserve LLC CEO Kevin Smith as its CEO for the Americas.

The company built up its U.S. portfolio with the purchase of a 135-MW raft of solar projects in PJM Interconnection from Orion Renewable Energy Group in August 2018.

Lightsource BP is developing several new-build solar assets in the U.S., including a 70-MW off-site solar facility for Pennsylvania State University. Also under development is the 16-MW Wildflower Solar 1 Project in California, which will sell its output to the Sacramento Municipal Utility District and Continental Divide Electric Cooperative Inc. under long-term power purchase agreements.

This U.S. initiative has been part of a broader global push into new markets. The company's European portfolio comprises solar assets in the U.K., Ireland, Italy and the Netherlands, with a Madrid-based team tasked with expanding on the Iberian Peninsula.

Lightsource BP has also entered the Australian, Brazilian and Egyptian markets in the past year, moves that follow a 2018 partnership with Everstone Capital Asia Pte. Ltd. on EverSource Capital, a joint venture investing in Indian renewables. That partnership, in turn, partnered with India's National Investment and Infrastructure Fund Ltd. and CDC Group PLC to invest $330 million in Ayana Renewable Power Pvt. Ltd. in February 2019.

In its home country, Lightsource BP is reportedly planning to install 300 MW of solar and has called for the reinstatement of British government subsidies for new renewable projects. Among Lightsource BP's U.K. contracts is a 15-year power purchase agreement under which the company powers Anheuser-Busch InBev SA's two main British breweries in England and Wales.