Alex Blackburne looks into how BP is attempting to shake off its tag as one of the world’s most unethical companies, with a joint investment of over $1 billion into wind farms.
Oil giant BP and energy developer Sempra have joined forces to pledge over $1 billion into two wind farm projects in the US.
Combined, the Mehoopany Wind Farm in Pennsylvania and the Flat Ridge 2 Wind Farm in Kansas, will produce 560 megawatts of electricity – making them the largest projects in their respective states. They will each receive a share of the billion dollar investment.
Positive investments from corporate giants such as BP, whilst appreciated, are always met with an air of scepticism as to the underlying reasons behind it.
BP’s main business venture involves the exploration and production of oil and gas, making it one of the most blatantly unethical companies in the world.
Its environmental impact in terms of global carbon emissions and extraction of fossil fuels will almost certainly never be overlooked in the way that major world players from other industries – Coca-Cola, for example – might be fortunate enough to change their public image.
Nevertheless, BP already owns 13 wind farms, and is continuing to invest in the sector through the two named projects, and a third, currently unannounced one.
The turbines at the two known locations – with 88 at Mehoopany and 262 at Flat Ridge 2 – will be made by GE, a company not short of controversy and criticism itself.
BP recently ended its 40-year involvement in the solar industry, claiming it was no longer profitable for it to continue investing in the industry. Instead, it said it would focus its efforts on developing large projects.
John Graham, president and CEO of BP Wind Energy said the “announcement reinforces BP’s commitment to produce essential sources of energy and provide cost-competitive power to our customers“.
A wholesale shift in the company’s agenda – from fossil fuels to renewable energy – is certainly not on the cards for the oil giant. But the scale of their investments is cherished by the renewables industry, making it key to future progression.
And it’s not just corporate giants that can make a difference – your own money can as well.
Get in touch with your financial adviser to see how you can invest in thriving industries like wind. If you don’t have one, fill in our form and we’ll put you in touch with a specialist ethical one.
You can also make the switch to renewable energy by contacting Good Energy.