United States

United States

BP does u-turn on 2.6GW portfolio sale

UNITED STATES: BP has announced it is reversing its decision to sell its 2.6GW of wind projects, due to a lack of an appropriate response from the market.

Clipper's Liberty wind turbines at BP's Fowler Ridge wind farm
Clipper's Liberty wind turbines at BP's Fowler Ridge wind farm

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In April, BP announced it was putting its wind division up for sale so it could focus on its core oil and gas business. BP's wind portfolio is all onshore and based solely in the US. In addition to the installed capacity, it includes a 2GW pipeline.

However, the company now says it plans to hold on to the projects. In a statement the company said: "BP is terminating the marketing of its wind energy business, opting not to sell its 16 wind farms at this time. Despite receiving a number of bids, the company has determined that now is not the right time to sell the business. 

"Our focus will remain on safely maximizing the financial and operational performance of the existing assets – some 16 operating wind farms located in nine states that have a combined generating capacity of approximately 2,600 megawatts of renewable power."

At the time the sale was announced, there were a number of questions over the viability of the BP projects. One issue is that more than a quarter of BP's fleet runs on Clipper Windpower's troubled Liberty 2.5MW turbines, which have a record of gearbox failures.

Moreover, four of BP's plants — totalling 585MW — are also merchant projects, which face unfavourable market conditions.

The multinational's US wind assets are estimated to be worth just over $2 billion — or potentially up to $2.9 billion — according Bloomberg New Energy Finance. BP outright owns 1.6GW of the 2.6GW in which it has interests

According to BP, it has invested $7.6billion in alternative energy, with much of this going to wind.

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