bp began construction on its 187 MWdc Peacock Solar project in San Patricio County, Texas, which will support the company's transition to lower carbon energy.
Under a long-term power purchase agreement, the project will sell all its generated electricity to Gulf Coast Growth Ventures (GCGV), a joint venture between ExxonMobil and SABIC, which produces materials used to manufacture clothes, food containers, packaging, agricultural film, and construction materials.
"Once online, the solar-generated electricity will be used to partially power our plant and help reduce emissions in support of a net-zero future,” said Paul Fritsch, President at GCGV.
While the project is expected to create around 300 jobs during construction and provide more than $25 million in tax revenue over the first 25 years of its tenure, the installation will generate enough renewable energy annually to power the equivalent of 34,000 homes.
bp's joint venture partner, Lightsource bp, will develop and manage the construction of the project on behalf of bp. PCL Construction, the project's main engineering, procurement, and construction contractor, will install ultra-low carbon solar panels and trackers from First Solar and GameChange Solar, respectively.
The project will also incorporate various agricultural and biodiversity activities, such as planting vegetation under and around the solar panels, including native plant species beneficial to pollinators and other wildlife. Through these efforts, bp aims to improve the solar farm's habitat value, species composition, soil health, and overall ecosystem functions.
bp predicts the project will meet its expected returns for renewable power and be a strategic part of the company’s goal to invest in and build a renewable energy capacity of 50 GW by 2030.