PV and fossil fuel firm signals Green energy intent with smart home technology buy out

PV and fossil fuel firm signals Green energy intent with smart home technology buy out

PV and fossil fuel firm signals Green energy intent with smart home technology buy out Energy Storage Journal


Utility-scale PV firm Lightsource BP, a strategic partnership between Lightsource and fossil fuel giant BP, announced on May 8 it had bought into the smart home market with the buy-out of Internet-of-Things software developer Ubiworx.

The platform connects solar panels to residential energy storage — which stores power for use during low generation periods or sold to the grid — using a smart management system, allowing the consumer to become prosumers.

The sale adds machine learning and artificial intelligence algorithms, small footprint embedded software and smart control systems to Lightsource BP’s existing portfolio of energy technologies.

Lightsource BP was formed last December when the British gas and oil company announced it was to invest $200 million in Lightsource over three years in exchange for a 43% stake in the company.

The acquisition comes after a two-year working relationship where the Irish firm Ubiworx’s platform become one of the core technologies deployed by Lightsource BP’s in-house innovation arm, Lightsource Labs.

Karen Boutonnat, group COO for Lightsource BP said: “Digitization and the move towards a low-carbon economy requires reinvention of the energy market – beyond just monitoring and controlling consumption.

“This transformation is being led by innovation and market disruptors, like electric vehicles that will completely change the way household energy is used and stored. We cannot underestimate the power of the home and its vital role in shaping this new energy future.”

In June 2016, Lightsource teamed up with French power company EDF Energy to launch its Sunplug system — which came in the Sunplug Complete and Sunplug Battery formats — that combines PV, storage and a management platform.

This January, BP Ventures, the company’s venture capitalist arm, announced it had invested $5 million in Freewire Technologies, a US company that makes mobile EV charging systems. The systems are due to be installed in BP retail sites across Europe.

Last month BP released its report, Advancing the Energy Transition, which detailed its commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions in its operations, helping customers reduce their emissions, and creating low carbon businesses.

The report sets out goals to meet zero net emissions growth, generate sustainable reductions of 3.5 million tonnes of annual CO2 equivalent greenhouse gas emissions throughout its businesses by 2025; invest in carbon offsetting projects, and the introduction of a group-wide accreditation programme, Advancing Low Carbon.