BP expands its energy portfolio

BP Ventures has invested in Grid Edge, a developer of AI technology that enables customers to predict, control and optimise their building’s energy profile. The investment is in support of BP Alternative Energy’s wider strategy of low-carbon power, storage and digital energy.

Using data including weather forecasts and expected occupancy, Grid Edge’s predictive energy management technology can leverage periods of high renewable power generation, and effectively use their building’s flexibility in energy demand and generation like a giant battery, to reduce costs and carbon emissions by 10 to 15 per cent.

Grid Edge was spun out of Aston University’s Energy Research Institute in 2016 and the investment complements other recent investments by BP, such as the energy monitor company Voltaware.

Family office investment house Goldacre joined BP as co-investors in the funding round.

At the same time Lightsource BP has entered the Spanish energy market with an agreement with Forestalia, acquiring a 300MW project portfolio in the province of Zaragoza over six separate sites.

Nick Boyle, Group CEO, Lightsource BP commented: “This acquisition not only marks our first transaction in Spain but is also a further milestone in our global ambition to achieve 10GW by 2023. Through our unique ability and extensive project experience and global supply chain optimisation, the development of these permitted sites will enable us to establish a presence in the Iberian market and provide a secure, reliable source of renewable energy to corporate and utility customers across the region.”

Although investment in renewables still only makes up a small proportion of BP’s investments, the company has publically outlined plans for a transition to cleaner energy, particularly as Bernard Looney took over the helm from Bob Dudley, he made a point of stating: “I look forward to tapping into that desire and building on the strong foundation that Bob has built as we meet society’s demand for cleaner, better energy.”

Conversely the announcements also come as the RSC has abandoned its links due to concerns to its reputation by taking sponsorship from a company associated with fossil fuels.

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