|Defunct||21 December 2011|
|Reyad Fezzani (CEO)|
|Subsidiaries||Tata 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. It was a subsidiary of BP.
In 1981, BP acquired initially 50% of Lucas Energy Systems which became Lucas BP Solar Systems. The company became wholly owned by BP in the mid-1980s. In 1999, following BP's acquisition of Solarex's majority owner Amoco, it increased its stake in the American Solarex plant to 100%. In that year the company became the world's leading PV producer.
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. In 2010, it closed down the factory at Frederick, Maryland. BP Solar was closed on 21 December 2011 when BP announced its departure from the solar energy business.
BP Solar and Indian firm Tata Power established Tata BP Solar, a joint venture company, in 1989. The company began commercial operations in 1991 by establishing its first manufacturing unit with a production capacity of 3 MW in India. BP Solar exited the joint venture in 2012, and Tata BP Solar became a wholly owned subsidiary of the Tata Group.
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. In the mid 1980s BP installed Solar power for Microwave repeater stations across Sierra Leone in support of a telecommunications network restoration.
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.