BP Buys NYC Startup That Turns Skyscrapers Into Power Plants
(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc acquired Blueprint Power, a New York-based technology startup that helps commercial buildings sell their surplus energy to the grid, for an undisclosed sum.
European energy majors are increasingly turning to power as a way to diversify their hydrocarbon-heavy portfolios into cleaner sources of energy. Beyond much larger investments in solar and wind farms, BP is making smaller bets on technology companies with an energy transition slant through its venture capital unit and its startup accelerator Launchpad.
BP shares are up 34% this year, compared with an 18% increase for the benchmark Stoxx Europe 600 Oil & Gas index.
Virtual power plants combine electricity from independent sources that aren’t connected to the grid, such as storage batteries and solar panels. Small amounts of excess energy that otherwise would be lost can be aggregated and sold on the market. Blueprint’s software helps owners optimize the energy efficiency of their buildings and then sell any surplus.
Blueprint was founded in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The startup works with five of New York’s largest commercial real-estate owners, which generate a combined 13 megawatts of renewable power, the company said. With BP on board, the company aims to increase this to 36 MW by the end of 2022.
The firm expects to work with different divisions of BP, such as electric-vehicle charging, trading and shipping.
Blueprint also expects to grow beyond New York to Boston, Texas and outside the U.S., said Robyn Beavers, the company’s co-founder and chief executive officer.
“The solutions that we’re showing improving here, city-by-city, in the U.S. are transferable to any city in the world,” Beavers said.
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