The World's #1 Renewable Energy Network for News, Information, and Companies.

BP Selling US Wind Unit, Pares Renewable Energy Interests to Fuels

BP is getting out of the wind industry in the U.S., following its exit from solar barely a year ago, in a broader shift back to its oil and gas roots. BP spokesperson Mark Salt characterized the move as "a continuing effort to become a more focused oil and gas company and re-position the company for sustainable growth into the future."

BP's wind businesses here in the U.S. encompasses 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of generating capacity spread across 16 farms in operation across nine states: Texas (4), Indiana (3), Colorado (2), Kansas (2), California, South Dakota, Idaho, Hawaii, and Pennsylvania. Another 2 GW or so of projects in development "are nearly shovel-ready," according to the company.

Matt Hartwig, a spokesperson for BP America and its Alternative Energy business, emphasized that "this is not an exit from alternative energy," pointing to ethanol production sites in Brazil and the U.K., as well as biofuel research efforts in the U.S. and U.K. BP also supports several other biofuel research initiatives such as the Energy Biosciences Institute, a joint initiative between BP, the University of California-Berkeley, and the University of Illinois. It plans to continue investing in "new, cutting-edge companies" developing efficient energy technologies for both renewable and conventional energy production.

These ethanol and biofuel programs specifically pertain to transportation fuels, so essentially this represents an end to BP's pursuit of renewable energy as it pertains to electricity generation. BP was one of the solar industry's longtime players before deciding to shut down those operations in late 2011, stating that solar was no longer a money-making business. Outside the U.S. wind business, BP has a small wind farm in the U.K. but it's operated by a separate business unit. The company sold off its wind power interests in India in 2009.

BP pledged in 2005 to invest $8 billion dollars over 10 years on alternative energy, and through 2011 had spent about $7 billion of that — more than half of it in the U.S. Meanwhile, BP has invested more than $55 billion over the last five years alone in U.S. energy development overall.

Divestment of the U.S. wind business will depend on what "attractive offers" are received, according to Hartwig. With some back-of-the-napkin math, Bloomberg New Energy Finance calculates BP's U.S. wind portfolio is worth roughly $4-$5 billion, assuming a value per wind farm of $1.5-$2.0 million per megawatt. Projects in BP's pipeline would be worth far less ($15,000-$200,000) depending on precisely how "shovel-ready" they are.

Lead image: Room with green exit lamp via Shutterstock


Renewable Energy Finance

Clean Energy ETFs Are on a Tear

Eric Balchunas, Bloomberg Green investing used to be synonymous with losing money. But while the S&P 500 Index is up 2 percent this year, and the MSCI All-Country World Index is up 5 percent, clean energy ETFs have double-digit re...

Wheels, Towers and Trees: Unconventional Renewable Energy Technologies in the Pipeline

Andrew Williams, International Correspondent A number of companies around the world are developing novel technologies in an effort to grab a slice of the global renewable energy market.  Although many of these technologies are simple incremental improvements to e...
UK Parliament Clean Energy Leaders

UK Government Names Clean Energy Cabinet Members

David Appleyard, Contributing Editor With the UK general election now over and a majority Conservative Party government in place, the re-elected Prime Minister David Cameron has now named key members of the government charged with steering the UK’s clean energ...

Coast to Coast and Across the Electric System, Microgrids Provide Benefits to All

Dick Munson, Environmental Defense Fund At the most obvious level, microgrids could disrupt today’s utilities and their regulated-monopoly business model, because they challenge the centralized paradigm. In a nutshell, microgrids are localized power grids that ha...
Jim is Contributing Editor for, covering the solar and wind beats. He previously was associate editor for Solid State Technology and Photovoltaics World, and has covered semiconductor manufacturing and related industries, ...


Volume 18, Issue 3


To register for our free
e-Newsletters, subscribe today:


Tweet the Editors! @megcichon @jennrunyon



Doing Business in Brazil – in partnership with GWEC, the Global Win...

Brazil is one of the most promising markets for wind energy.  Ranke...

Energy Storage USA 2015

Energy Storage USA is the leading conference in the United States focuse...

Wind Power Central America

Wind power projects are expected to reach 46GW of total installed capaci...


SunEdison Expands Residential Market Offerings with New PPA, Sales ...

SunEdison has largely focussed on the commercial and utility-scale solar...

Are You Ready for a Natural Disaster?

Guest post by Jenna Clarke  Living in the Shenandoah Valley of Virg...

Deadline for Inclusion in Solar Power World's Top Solar Contractors...

UPDATE: The official deadline for the Solar Power World T...


Renewable Energy: Subscribe Now

Solar Energy: Subscribe Now

Wind Energy: Subscribe Now

Geothermal Energy: Subscribe Now

Bioenergy: Subscribe Now