bp’s presence in California includes marketing and distributing over 660 million gallons of consumer fuel and spans from traditional mobility and convenience outlets to a variety of renewable products including solar, EV charging and biofuels.
Our global partnership with Lightsource, Europe’s largest solar development company, has its US headquarters in San Francisco. Through the 50-50 joint venture, bp is advancing solar energy projects across the United States.
In November 2018, Lightsource bp signed a Power Purchase Agreement with the Sacramento Municipal Utilities Division (SMUD), one of the largest publicly owned utility companies in the US. This agreement will allow SMUD to power northern California communities with clean, renewable electricity for the next 25 years. Commissioned in 2020, the site — known as Wildflower Solar I — generates enough sustainable electricity to cover the annual needs of more than 2,600 homes.
bp is the largest supplier of renewable natural gas (RNG) to the California transportation sector. Produced entirely from organic waste, RNG — or “biogas” — can reduce emissions by around 70% compared with gasoline or diesel. Additionally, bp and Clean Energy signed a 10-year margin sharing agreement whereby bp will provide RNG to Clean Energy’s California fueling network — the largest RNG dispensing network in the state.
Clean energy ventures
Through its partnership with FreeWire, bp is working to make it more affordable and convenient for customers to charge their EVs. Recently, FreeWire installed the country’s first ultra-fast battery-powered EV charger. The Boost ChargerTM, which was installed at an ampm in Lodi, California, as part of a pilot, boasts 160 kilowatt-hour (kWh) of battery capacity and 120 kilowatt (kW) output – charging up to 100 miles in ten minutes while a standard charger may take 20 hours for the same mileage. FreeWire is planning on installing additional units at new sites in California, Washington and Oregon in 2021 and beyond.
Across the Golden State, bp helps create and support new low-carbon businesses and promising technologies. As part of the global technology team, bp’s San Diego Biosciences Center (BSC) studies how bioscience can add value and make bp’s businesses more sustainable. Created in 2015, the staff include both scientists and engineers and focuses its research on different aspects of bp operations, including production of renewable energy, oil and natural gas, and development of innovative, efficient fuels and lubricants.
As just one example, the BSC works closely with bp Biofuels, which produces ethanol from sugar cane in Brazil. The lifecycle greenhouse gas emissions of this ethanol are 70% lower than conventional transportation fuels.
In coming years, the BSC plans to expand its research to help bp make further progress on converting waste streams to biogas, cleaning legacy industrial sites and producing oil more efficiently from existing resources.
Additionally, in California, bp has invested $75 million in Fulcrum BioEnergy and $20 million in Beyond Limits. Fulcrum produces low-carbon “biojet” fuel from household waste. Beyond Limits is a Caltech startup commercializing artificial intelligence and cognitive computing software.