Chasing net-zero emissions, BP to acquire Indiana wind farm

Source: By Paul Takahashi, Houston Chroncile • Posted: Sunday, July 19, 2020

BP plans to take full ownership of a central Indiana wind farm, a deal that moves the British energy major closer to its goal of becoming a net zero emissions company by 2050.

BP Wind Energy, the company’s wind business, on Thursday said it will acquire the remaining 50 percent interest in Fowler Ridge 1, a wind farm owned in partnership with Dominion Energy. The wind farm, with 162 wind turbines and a generating capacity of 300 megawatts, will increase BP’s net wind generation capacity by more than 15 percent to 1,076 megawatts. One megawatt powers about 200 homes during a summer day in Texas.

“We are excited to announce this transaction in the context of BP’s ambition to become a net zero company,” BP Wind Energy CEO Al Vickers said in a statement. “This reflects our confidence in renewable energy, and the possibility for further growth in this sector.”

BP this year set an ambitious target to become a net zero carbon emitter by 2050. The company plans to shift spending away from its traditional oil and gas business to more low-carbon businesses, such as wind, and plans to use technology to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at current operations.

GLOBAL WARMING: Major oil and gas companies set carbon emissions goal to address climate change

The move comes as major energy companies globally are addressing investor concerns about climate change and the energy transition toward renewables, and its impact on the oil and gas industry. A group of 12 energy giants on Thursday announced a plan to lower the carbon emissions rate of members’ combined upstream oil and gas operations that would result in reducing emissions between 36 million and 52 million tonnes per year by 2025. The reduction, the group said, is equivalent to the carbon emissions from energy use in between 4 million and 6 million U.S. homes.

BP Wind Energy operates nine onshore wind farms in six states and holds an ownership interest in a Hawaii wind farm. Together, the wind farms generate enough electricity to power 450,000 homes annually, the company said. BP also owns Onyx InSight, which provides digital and predictive maintenance analytics to the wind industry.

BP’s Fowler Ridge 1 acquisition is expected to close this year, pending regulatory approval. The company operates Fowler Ridge 1, 2 and 3 wind farms, which include 355 wind turbines spanning more than 42,000 acres and powering roughly 160,000 homes annually.