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Published on April 8th, 2009 | by Dave Tyler


BP Solar Expects to Add 100 MW in U.S. in 2009

April 8th, 2009 by  

A label from BP solar panel, reporting energy efficiency. BP solar is saying it will have strong installations in 2009 despite recent cutbacks.

The head of BP Solar International says his firm will install 100 megawatts of utility-level solar power projects on U.S. soil in 2009.

[social_buttons] Reyad Fezzani told Dow Jones in an interview published Monday that his company, a subsidiary of energy giant BP PLC, is seeing high demand, and strong financing interest from investors. BP expects to manufacture 320 MW of solar panels in 2009, roughly double the amount it made in 2008. That will be split about 60/40 between large commericial and utility installations and residential sales, Fezzani said. That equates to about 192 MW of large scale installations, with 100 MW of that in the U.S., he said.

As states increase their renewable energy requirements for the utilities they regulate, those utilities are seeking to buy more solar power, Fezzani said.

“Now the average size (of solar power inquiries from utilities) is 25 to 50 MW. We are bidding for tenders that are orders of magnitude larger, 100 to 150 MW and even one that’s 500 MW,” he said.

BP plans to own the solar installations and work towards umbrella financing agreements similar to the arrangements it has in Europe. But competition is growing in the field, an analyst told Dow Jones, particularly from SunPower and First Solar. And BP Solar just cut jobs in Maryland and Madrid to save money.

BP’s made news in other clean technologies too, including cellulosic ethanol. They’ve also been a target for Greenpeace. But if BP is really moving “Beyond Petroleum” scaling up their solar business rapidly is a good place to start.

Photo Credit: Remintola’s Flickr Stream, via a Creative Commons License


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About the Author

Dave has over a decade of experience in journalism covering a wide variety of topics. He spent 7 years on the business beat for the Rochester (N.Y) Democrat and Chronicle, covering technology issues including the state's growing green economy. When he's not writing, you'll find Dave enjoying his family, being a bit of a music snob, and praying that the Notre Dame football team can get its act together. He lives in Rochester.

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