Monday, July 17, 2006

$4b Investment in Wind Power by BP Alternative Energy

BP is making its first major investment in wind power with a joint venture that will lead to a major expansion of its generating capacity.

The oil company announced it had entered a five-year supply and development agreement involving five wind power projects in the US with Clipper Windpower.

The news sent Clipper shares up 80p, or 28 per cent, to 362.5p in London. The projects, with an anticipated total generating capacity of 2,015 megawatts, are situated in New York, Texas and South Dakota.

BP has also secured a mix of firm and contingent orders of up to 2,250 megawatts of additional Clipper wind turbines in its global wind energy portfolio, the companies said.

BP launched BP Alternative Energy to focus on solar, hydrogen and wind power but its wind operation has up to now been confined to two projects with a combined output of only 31 megawatts.

Steve Westwell, the chief executive of BP Alternative Energy, said: "We believe the Clipper turbine is a breakthrough in reducing the total cost of renewable energy and we are pleased to be the first large customers for this innovative technology."

This is thought to be the biggest single investment in wind power estimated at $4 billion US dollars.

The announcement, came in the same week that the British government published its energy review and a telephone poll found that 79% of respondents thought solar power and 76% wind power were the best investments in electricity generation for the UK.

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