BP Wants to Sell Power to Homes in Five States in Renewable Push

BP Plc wants to be your power supplier, too.

The oil and natural gas giant is seeking permission to become a retail electricity provider to homes and businesses initially in Illinois, Ohio, Texas, California and Pennsylvania, according to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filing issued last week. BP Energy Retail’s affiliates own or control more than 2,000 megawatts of wind generation.

“It gives BP a huge new branding opportunity,” said Tyson Slocum, director of Public Citizen’s energy program. “They are already a massive power trader. Locking up tens of thousands of retail customers helps boost their trading by locking in a bunch of customers with fixed supply contracts.”

The move isn’t wholly unexpected as the global push to electrify everything from cars to home heating and invest in renewable energy to combat climate change is breaking down traditional energy silos. BP, the largest physical gas marketer in North America, has branded retail gasoline stations across the country and is already a significant wholesale power trader. Two years ago, rival super major Royal Dutch Shell Plc. said it aims to become the world’s single largest power generator.

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