BP Plc, one of the world's top six oil and gas 'super majors', that has also made some of the most ambitious promises to shift away from fossil fuels, has taken another step in that direction.
BP has picked on the US market as its first foray into offshore wind power. A $1.1 billion investment into Norway-based Equinor’s Wind and Beacon Wind projects near New York and Massachusetts.
The investment will see BP get a 50 percent stake in the projects, besides a first hand experience in what many consider to be one of the most promising renewable energy opportunities for larger players. Offshore wind energy has increasingly taken centre stage, thanks to bigger generators capable of far higher production at scale. Its high capital investment requirements also makes it perfect case for capital rich firms like BP to wade in without getting into bidding battles, which is the case for onshore wind energy and solar power set ups.
For Equinor, the deal allows it to monetise the 4.5 GW assets to build yet more assets as a developer. It will continue to operate the assets with its remaining 50 percent stake. The state-owned firm is itself in the middle of a massive transition to a renewables led firm. It has zeroed in on offshore wind in a big way, and has, to its credit, the world’s first floating offshore wind energy platform in Scotland too.
For BP, which already has major interests in solar (through Lightsource BP), electric vehicles (charging) and even biofuels, the move into offshore wind completes the circle, so to say, with a presence in each of the next energy streams.
For BP, whose new moniker signifies “Beyond Petroleum” from the “British Petroleum” earlier, expectations are very high on the capital and expertise it can bring to the table for renewables. Recently, it also committed $70 million to a green fund in India.