BP deal to ‘supercharge’ Lightsource international ambitions

Lightsource has said its partnership with BP will “supercharge” its international ambitions and add “more strings to its bow”.

This morning the solar developer announced a £148 million deal with BP which will see the petrol giant take a 43% stake in the business. That partnership will see the company renamed as Lightsource BP and take it into new markets across the world.

Speaking to Solar Power Portal this morning, Lightsource chief Nick Boyle said the deal had been almost eight months in the making and would see the company benefit not just from BP’s financial support, but also its expertise, experience and international connections.

“Clearly we've had significant success in Europe but we realised in order to deliver our business model to a wider international audience that we would have to supercharge it in some way.

“We made the decision with our eyes open that this was a natural progression for us as a business, after being very successful in the UK and Europe, in order to go worldwide, that we need to align ourselves with someone to add extra strings to our bow,” he added.

The duo also revealed that BP would not just take an interest in international solar development but other facets of Lightsource, including its technology development Lightsource Labs and the home solar and battery project it has developed alongside EDF, Sunplug.

BP has meanwhile been quick to laud the potential it has seen emerge within solar development just six years after it famously shuttered its module development and deployment business BP Solar.

Also speaking to SPP this morning was Dev Sanyal, chief executive of BP’s alternative energy division, who said BP saw “great opportunity” in solar given the technology’s “fundamentals”.

“I don't think we'll be starved of opportunities, the question is being disciplined [with] which choices we pursue. Quite frankly what Lightsource have demonstrated over seven years is a culture of entrepreneurship, innovation but also disciplined execution. We like that a lot,” Sanyal added.