BP is going to invest US$200 million in solar energy company Lightsource.

The energy giant will help Lightsource advance its ‘6GW growth pipeline’ – primarily targeted at Europe, India, the US and the Middle East.

Bob Dudley, BP group chief executive said: “BP has been committed to advancing lower-carbon energy for over 20 years and we’re excited to be coming back to solar, but in a new and very different way. While our history in the solar industry was centred on manufacturing panels, Lightsource BP will instead grow value through developing and managing major solar projects around the world. I am confident that the combination of Lightsource’s expertise and experience with BP’s relationships and resources will propel this innovative business to even more rapid growth.”

The $200 million will be invested over the next three years – for a 43% stake in the business, which has been renamed Lightsource BP.

“We founded Lightsource to lead the solar revolution and chose to partner with BP because, like us, their ambition is to build and grow this company for the long-term. Not only does this partnership make strategic sense, but our combined forces will be part of accelerating the low-carbon transition. Solar power is the fastest growing source of new energy and we are excited to be at the forefront of this development,” added Nick Boyle, Group CEO and founder of Lightsource.

The move by BP is very much aligned with its Alternative Energy business line – which incorporates wind energy, as well as biofuels and biopower. Innovators Magazine has reported a number of its investments in these areas, including its purchase earlier this year of Clean Energy Fuels’ biomethane business for $155 million.