BP will take full control of Lightsource BP, the global solar and energy storage development joint venture that led the oil supermajor’s latest charge into renewables and was dubbed its "execution machine".

BP will acquire the 50.03% of the JV it doesn’t already own in a move that it claimed will “scale up Lightsource BP and create additional value by applying BP’s complementary capabilities and strengths, including in finance and trading”.

The deal is based on a £254m ($322m) equity value for the acquired stake, with the selling shareholders – including the company’s founders and staff – able to secure further payments based on future company performance.

The oil & gas giant has recently stressed a sharp focus on its renewable energy operations as an integrated part of its wider energy transition strategy, and said Lightsource BP’s expansion “will be used help meet its own demand for low carbon power. This integration is expected to underpin and de-risk delivery of BP’s targets for its transition growth engines in hydrogen, EV charging and biofuels as well as in power trading”.

Amid ongoing scrutiny by investors on the profitability of renewable energy, BP also said it “will continue to target double digit equity returns from this business”. It added that in time, it "may also look to unlock further value through bringing a strategic partner into the business".

BP first bought a stake in Lightsource in 2017 in one of the earliest deals of its latest push into renewable energy.

Lightsource BP now has a 61GW development pipeline across 19 countries. The solar JV has previously been described as an “execution machine” by BP for its ability to deliver profitable projects on time and budget, regularly attracting praise from now-departed CEO Bernard Looney.

Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, BP executive vice president for gas and low-carbon energy, said: “This is a natural evolution of the partnership we have built over the past six years – now we will be able to take Lightsource BP to the next level of profitable growth and performance. We will continue to scale this successful business, and also apply its capabilities and expertise to help meet BP’s growing demand for low carbon power from our transition growth engines.”

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