Lightsource bp is a strategic partnership formed in 2018 between solar veteran Lightsource Renewable Energy and the global petroleum giant BP, which owned and operated the Lima Refinery for 11 years before selling it in 1998 to Clark Oil.
Both Lightsource and BP are leaders in their respective fields.
“This alliance was inspired by the recognition of a shared mission: to accelerate low-carbon energy access for communities world-wide,” Lightsource says on its Website. It began with a 43%, $200-million investment by BP and is now a 50-50 partnership.
The investment in Lightsource marked a turnaround for the British oil firm, which in 2000 rebranded from British Petroleum to Beyond Petroleum. However, nine years later the energy giant shut down its alternative energy headquarters.
Dev Sanyal, BP’s chief executive for alternative energy, told the Guardian newspaper in London, England, that BP was returning to solar because the sector had matured and the model had shifted from manufacturing panels to developing solar farms.
Lightsource bp will focus on building solar projects in the US, India, Europe and the Middle East. It has its headquarters in San Francisco.
In January 2019, Lightsource bp announced the appointment of Kevin Smith as CEO for the Americas. He has more than 30 years of experience in the renewable energy sector. Most recently, he was CEO and one of the founding executives at California-based SolarReserve. Prior to that he was a vice president at Invenergy LLC, where he led the growth of the business from a start-up in 2004 to one of the largest privately-owned renewable energy businesses in the world just a few years later.
Smith also previously served as chief operating Officer of London-based Rolls-Royce Power Ventures.