BP Buys Tech Co Turning Buildings to Virtual Power Plants

BP Buys Tech Co Turning Buildings to Virtual Power Plants
BP and Blueprint are targeting to increase renewable power generation to 36 MW by the end of 2022.

BP (NYSE: BP) has announced that it has acquired Blueprint Power, a business it describes as a leading U.S. technology company that turns commercial buildings into virtual power plants.

The value of the deal was not disclosed by either company. Blueprint will join the BP Launchpad portfolio, BP revealed, adding that it will explore how Blueprint can work with both its regions, cities & solutions, and trading & shipping businesses to work to lower the cost of renewable energy and support the decarbonization of both cities and carbon-intensive industries.  

BP highlighted that Blueprint’s technology can help turn buildings into a flexible power network by connecting them to energy markets through cloud-based software. The business uses bespoke algorithms to optimize the energy efficiency of buildings and connect them to power markets, which allows owners to sell surplus energy stored in batteries or power generated on site from equipment such as solar panels.  

The company currently works with five of New York’s largest commercial real estate owners that together own over 100 million square feet of property in the city and generate 13 megawatts (MW) of renewable power. BP – which noted that Blueprint’s tech presents an opportunity to help decarbonize commercial real estate, help real estate owners meet their environmental goals and give them access to new revenue streams – revealed that it and the company are targeting to increase renewable power generation to 36 MW by the end of 2022.

“Decarbonizing dense urban areas is a key challenge as we work to play our part in realizing a net zero world,” Sam Skerry, the senior vice president of BP Launchpad & Ventures, said in a company statement.

“Blueprint’s technology can help deliver this critical transformation. It can help secure access to renewable energy and, importantly, also create new business opportunities for many sectors. This is exactly the type of company BP wants to scale and scale fast through our BP Launchpad accelerator,” Skerry added in the statement.

Commenting on the deal, Robyn Beavers, Blueprint’s founder and chief executive officer, said, “joining BP will enable us to maximize our impact on rapidly progressing global energy systems and I’m excited for our team to continue scaling quickly as we become a BP Launchpad portfolio company”. 

“Buildings hold huge untapped potential to improve energy resilience in an increasingly unpredictable world and to decarbonize our built environment. The time to grow and affect real change is now, and as a BP Launchpad company, we will have the partnerships and opportunities to help buildings make a positive contribution to the energy transition,” Beavers added.

BP Launchpad was established by BP in 2018 to turn breakthrough technologies and digitally led business models, from both inside and outside BP, into high potential businesses. The segment, which has invested in seven companies since its launch, will play an important role in BP’s ambition to become a net zero company by 2050 or sooner, BP notes on its website.

Back in July, BP revealed that it had acquired UK-based digital energy business Open Energi under its BP Launchpad portfolio. The company’s digital platform uses real-time data to optimize the performance of energy assets, BP highlighted in a company statement at the time. In December 2020, BP revealed that it had bought a majority stake in carbon offset developer Finite Carbon, under BP Launchpad.

Blueprint was born in response to the energy regulatory transformation that emerged after Hurricane Sandy and other extreme storms around the United States, Blueprint highlights on its website. The company’s founding team is said to bring deep expertise in technology, real estate, energy, finance and digital security with experience at organizations like Lennar, Google, Vestas, Boeing and BNP Paribas.

To contact the author, email andreas.exarheas@rigzone.com

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