bp’s large and growing US wind energy business provides clean power, while developing and deploying new technologies to deliver that energy more efficiently. Rapidly growing our renewables business is core to our strategy: by 2030, we aim to have developed around 50GW of net renewable generating capacity globally, up from 3.3GW in 2020. The strategy also includes increasing bp’s annual low carbon investment ten-fold, to around $5 billion a year.
At the forefront of new technology
In September 2020, we completed a major technology upgrade at our Flat Ridge 1 wind farm in south-central Kansas, replacing 19 existing turbine units with new Vestas turbines that are expected to deliver a 20–25% gain in energy production across the site.
This project is a significant step forward in our ongoing efforts to optimize and grow bp wind energy. bp has been in renewables for more than 20 years, and we believe it’s important to remain at the forefront of wind energy technology. This project supports that goal, as well as our broader ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner.
Additionally, the bp Wind Energy team continues to increase their partnership and projects with ONYX Insights – an industry leading predictive analytics provider and a wholly owned subsidiary of bp. By leveraging this technology, we can better understand the life span of turbine components at our wind farms, improve maintenance schedules, reduce costs and avoid breakdowns.
Entry into offshore wind
And we’re not just staying onshore. Our strategic partnership with Equinor will develop US offshore wind projects, starting with up to 4.4 GW across the Northeast coast – projects known as Empire Wind and Beacon Wind. The Empire Wind lease area sits 15–30 miles southeast of Long Island, New York, while Beacon Wind lies about 20 miles south of Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Equinor will remain operator of the Empire and Beacon projects in the development, construction and operations phases. bp will nominate the deputy project director for Empire Wind, and over time the wind assets will be staffed equally by bp and Equinor.
When fully developed, they will generate enough electricity to power more than 2 million homes. First power from Empire Wind 1 is expected in the mid-2020s. This is just the beginning of a partnership to pursue further growth in the US offshore wind market.