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BP buys AI business Open Energi to optimize renewable energy assets

Highlights

Trade opportunities around generation, price peaks

Plans to expand 80-MW portfolio of UK assets

BP has acquired AI-driven energy optimization company Open Energi to add to its energy transition portfolio, helping to manage the increasing share of intermittent renewables in power grids, the company said July 22.

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Open Energi's technology optimizes energy use of low-carbon assets such as battery storage, solar farms and hydrogen electrolyzers to save costs and take advantage of trading opportunities, BP said in a statement.

The Open Energi digital platform uses real-time data to provide power flexibility in periods of low renewable generation and price peaks, which BP plans to scale up through its Launchpad portfolio of tech development acquisitions.

"Open Energi's technology helps manage the intermittency of increasing global renewable capacity, creating both energy saving and revenue opportunities," Senior Vice President BP Launchpad and Ventures Sam Skerry said in the statement.

"The acquisition will help BP develop digitally driven integrated energy systems and deliver innovative, efficient and flexible energy solutions for customers," Skerry said.

BP's 2020 Energy Outlook projected an increase in primary energy from renewables to around 60% in 2050 under the net-zero scenario, from around 5% in 2018. Variable wind and solar generation could cause increased price volatility, and BP sees technology such as Open Energi's as having the potential to maintain power grid stability globally.

Open Energi currently manages a portfolio of 80 MW of energy assets, and is focused on the UK market. BP sees opportunities to expand the scope of the technology internationally across its trading and shipping business as well as its low-carbon assets.

"For the growing renewable energy capacity the world needs to meet global carbon reduction targets, we will need efficient energy optimization," Open Energi Commercial Director David Hill said.