Sep 10, 2020 - Energy & Environment

BP makes billion-dollar offshore wind play

BP logo.
Photo: Lance King/Getty Images

BP is making its first move into offshore wind via a new deal and partnership with Norway-based Equinor, which is developing big U.S. projects.

Driving the news: BP is paying Equinor $1.1 billion for a 50% stake in wind farms Equinor is developing off the coasts of New York and Massachusetts. The oil-and-gas companies — which are both making more moves into renewables — also announced a "strategic partnership" to jointly pursue other U.S. offshore projects.

Why it matters: It's a sign of BP's pledge to speed up its diversification into low-carbon technologies and shrink its fossil fuel business — which currently dominates its portfolio — over the long term.

  • As part of the climate plans rolled out last month, BP said it hopes to develop 50 gigawatts of renewable generating capacity by 2030, which is 20 times its 2019 level.
  • The projects Equinor is developing in the regions off Massachusetts and New York will have a potential combined generating capacity of 4.4 GW, enough to power over 2 million homes, the companies said.

The big picture: The move also shows interest in the fledgling U.S. offshore wind market, which has been very slow to develop (there's just one small project in operation) but is now attracting lots of capital.

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