bp acquires US flexible energy technology company Blueprint

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British multinational energy company bp has entered the US market for flexible energy by acquiring Blueprint Power, a cloud software company that turns buildings into virtual power plants.

Blueprint leverages algorithms to help buildings optimise their energy efficiency in line with demand response signals on the New York power grid. The company’s technology enables buildings to sell surplus energy – generated onsite and stored in batteries – for reliability on the main grid.

Today, the company is working with five of New York’s largest commercial retailers that generate 13MW of clean capacity and plans to increase the capacity to 36MW by 2022.

The firm was established to encourage the use of distributed energy resources and virtual power plants for power reliability and resilience during events such as harsh weather conditions and grid failures, for example, the blackout in New York caused by Hurricane Sandy.

Blueprint is also deploying a project to demonstrate how its solution can help expand New York’s portfolio of onsite electricity generation and electric vehicle charging. The New York state government-backed initiative will deploy 150 EV chargers on residential buildings in Queens by 2025.

With the real estate sector accounting for 28% of the global greenhouse gas emissions, the acquisition provides an opportunity for bp to expand its footprint in the energy transition business.

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bp seeks to take advantage of the acquisition to help buildings decarbonise and achieve sustainability goals whilst expanding its portfolio of renewables and clean energy services.

The company will join bp’s startup funding initiative Launchpad and expand in several major US urban power markets to help reduce the cost of renewables and decarbonise cities and carbon-intensive industries, according to a statement.

Sam Skerry, SVP bp Launchpad & Ventures, said: “Decarbonising dense urban areas is a key challenge as we work to play our part in realizing a net-zero world. 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.”

Robyn Beavers, Blueprint’s founder and CEO, added: “Joining bp will enable us to maximise 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 decarbonise 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.”