BP is putting its wind business on the block, its latest retreat from renewable energy as the company moves to focus on its core oil and gas operations.
The British oil giant has touted the growth of its wind operations in recent years, but is adjusting “as part of a continuing effort to become a more focused oil and gas company and reposition the company for sustainable growth into the future,” said spokesman Matt Hartwig in an emailed statement.
The company has interest in 16 operating wind farms in nine states, including its Sherbino wind farm in West Texas. Just last year, BP brought three new wind farms into operation, completing construction on projects in Kansas, Pennsylvania and Hawaii, and growing its net wind generation capacity by 50 percent.
In total, BP’s wind power investments are capable of generating a combined 2,600 megawatts of power, or enough to feed 780,000 homes, by BP’s calculations. The company also is involved in 2,000 megawatts of wind power projects in development.
In its 2012 annual report, BP said its wind business has created more than 200 jobs.
In 2011, the British oil giant shut down its solar business after more than three decades. At a recent industry conference in Houston, CEO Bob Dudley said, “We’ve thrown in the towel on solar. … We worked on it for 35 years and never made money.”
BP has ethanol production facilities in Brazil and the United Kingdom and biofuel research operations in the United States.
“This is not an exit from alternative energy,” Hartwig said.