BP Solar

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
BP Solar
Company typeSubsidiary
IndustrySolar energy
Founded1981 (1981)
FounderPhilip Wolfe
Defunct21 December 2011 (2011-12-21)
Area served
Key people
Reyad Fezzani (CEO)
SubsidiariesTata BP Solar

BP Solar was a manufacturer and installer of photovoltaic solar cells headquartered in Madrid, Spain, with production facilities in Frederick, MD, India and the People's Republic of China.[1][2] It was a subsidiary of BP.


In 1981, BP acquired initially 50% of Lucas Energy Systems which became Lucas BP Solar Systems.[3] The company became wholly owned by BP in the mid-1980s.[4] In 1999, following BP's acquisition of Solarex's majority owner Amoco, it increased its stake in the American Solarex plant to 100%.[5] In that year the company became the world's leading PV producer.[6]

In 2004, the R&D part of BP Solar was sold to the UK's National Renewable Energy Centre (Narec). In 2013, it became Solar Capture Technologies.[7] In 2010, it closed down the factory at Frederick, Maryland.[8] BP Solar was closed on 21 December 2011 when BP announced its departure from the solar energy business.[9][10]

BP Solar and Indian firm Tata Power established Tata BP Solar, a joint venture company, in 1989.[11] The company began commercial operations in 1991 by establishing its first manufacturing unit with a production capacity of 3 MW in India.[12][11] BP Solar exited the joint venture in 2012, and Tata BP Solar became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tata Group.[11]


PV power plants using BP solar modules include:

BP Solar had many projects and co-operative activities in developing countries, including supplying power to 36,000 homes in rural Indonesia, installing 1000 solar devices to provide power to 400 remote villages in the Philippines, and setting up a rural electrification scheme in Malaysia to provide power to 30,000 remote homes in Sabah, Sarawak and Peninsular Malaysia.[14] In the mid-1980s BP installed Solar power for Microwave repeater stations across Sierra Leone in support of a telecommunications network restoration.[citation needed]

BP Solar (with the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation — CSIRO) was also involved in the commercialization of a long-life deep cycle lead acid battery, which is well suited to the storage of electricity for renewable remote area power systems (RAPS). This GreenGel battery, and CSIRO's new battery charging procedures, will reduce capacity loss and premature failure sometimes encountered with existing battery technology. A significant component of the project will be the establishment of an innovative manufacturing process to enable the production of these advanced batteries at an internationally competitive price, facilitating a major export market.[15]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Solar Power Profitability: BP Solar". Archived from the original on 2009-03-28. Retrieved 2008-08-18.
  2. ^ Hoovers
  3. ^ "BP and Lucas form solar company". Electronics and Power. March 1981. doi:10.1049/ep.1981.0091.
  4. ^ "The Long Island Solar Farm" (PDF). US Dept. of Energy. 2013.
  5. ^ "Company news; BP Amoco plans to buy remaining 50% stake in Solarex". Dow Jones. 7 April 1999. Retrieved 13 March 2019.
  6. ^ Wolfe, Philip (2018). The Solar Generation. Wiley - IEEE. p. 207. ISBN 9781119425588.
  7. ^ "Solar Capture Technologies launched". Archived from the original on 2015-01-30. Retrieved 2013-05-07.
  8. ^ Mulliken, Bruce. "Solarex fades away". Archived from the original on 26 July 2013. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
  9. ^ Bergin, Tom; Young, Sarah (21 December 2011). "BP turns out lights at solar business". Reuters. Retrieved 21 December 2011.
  10. ^ Staff, BusinessGreen. "BP to Close Its Solar Business after 40 Years". Green Biz. Retrieved 26 February 2024. {{cite web}}: |first1= has generic name (help)
  11. ^ a b c "HISTORY & MILESTONES". Tata Power Solar. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Tata Power Solar Is First Indian Company To Ship 1 Gigawatt Of Solar Modules". CleanTechnica. March 2017. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  13. ^ "BP invests $220 million in U.S. solar projects". Reuters. 2021-06-01. Retrieved 2023-06-14.
  14. ^ Liang, Tian (2016). "Rural Electrification in East Malaysia : Achieving optimal power generation system and sustainability of rural electrification projects". S2CID 114219956. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  15. ^ Renewable Energy Commercialisation Programme Archived 2007-02-20 at the Wayback Machine

External links[edit]