BP Solar Manufacturing
BP might not be a name that you readily associate with solar power. If you don't, you probably should. BP Solar produces about 15% of the world market of solar panels. BP has solar photovoltaic manufacturing plants around the world. The most recent addition to BP Solar is a plant in Fairfield, California, complementing its production facilities in Frederick, Maryland along with plants in Madrid, Sydney and Bangalore (India).
A new image for Solar
BP is serious about solar in a way that (let's be honest) few other companies can afford to be. BP Solar recently teamed with Home Depot to mass market solar home systems. BP also has a Solar Neighbors program with Hollywood stars like Ed Norton promoting the use of solar by donating solar systems to needy families. Initiatives like these will help solar power move into the consumer mainstream: good for solar and good for the world.
BP's experience in the solar industry goes back 30 years.
They entered head on with the purchase of Lucas Energy Systems in 1980. Up until very recently, BP Solar went under various names, having undergone several mergers and acquisitions, such as the purchase of Exxon Solar in 1984 and the acquirement of a global network of manufacturing plants.
In the 1990s, BP Solar further established itself in the solar industry by introducing some unique innovations. These included:
- the introduction of the 'Mega' cell, the largest solar cell available at the time
- Plug in the Sun, the addition of solar energy to BP stations around the world
- the profitability of the polycrystalline business in 1994-an important corner to turn in the solar industry