Bp solar plan will drive energy transition strategy

Global energy giant bp has announced construction has begun on a solar power project which it says is another significant step in its energy transition.

The 187MWdc Peacock Solar project is located 10 miles north of Corpus Christi in San Patricio County, Texas, and once complete, the installation will generate enough renewable energy annually to power the equivalent of 34,000 homes.

Peacock will sell all of the electricity it generates under a long-term power purchase agreement to Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV), a joint venture between ExxonMobil and SABIC, which produces materials used to manufacture clothes, food containers, packaging, agricultural film and construction materials.

The project is expected to create around 300 jobs during construction and provide more than $25 million in tax revenue over the first 25 years of the project’s life.

“Securing this agreement and kicking off construction of Peacock helps support the transition to lower carbon energy, while benefiting local communities and the economy,” said Dave Lawler, bp America chairman and president. “It’s another way bp is accelerating growth of our US solar generation capacity, investing in America, and advancing our transformation to an integrated energy company.”

“We want to be good stewards of our environment,” added Paul Fritsch, president at GCGV. “Once online, the solar-generated electricity will be used to partially power our plant and help reduce emissions in support of a net-zero future.”

bp’s 50:50 joint-venture partner, global solar company Lightsource bp, is developing the project and managing the construction on behalf of bp.
The company said Peacock will also be home to a range of agricultural and biodiversity activities.

The include planting vegetation under and around the solar panels, including native plant species beneficial to pollinators and other wildlife aiming to improve habitat value, species composition, soil health and overall ecosystem functions at the solar farm.

Sheep will graze at the site to benefit the local rural economy and keep the farmland in production – such practices are known as agrivoltaics.

“Solar plays an important role in bp’s renewables & power transition growth engine,” bp added. “Peacock is part of bp’s aim to invest in and build renewable energy capacity of 50 gigawatts (GW) by 2030. bp anticipates that the project will meet its expected returns for renewable power.”

According to the Solar Energy Industries Association, Texas ranks second in the nation for solar power and is poised to grow, with more than 40GW of capacity expected to be installed over the next five years. Renewable energy projects like Peacock help diversify the state’s energy-generation mix, improving the grid’s energy security and reliability bp explained.

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