BP PLC (LON:BP) has taken its first steps along its new greener path with a US$1.1bn investment in two wind farms off the US east coast.
New chief executive Bernard Looney has committed the oil and gas giant to a target of zero net carbon emissions by 2020.
The deal is the oil giant’s first move into offshore wind and will see the FTSE100 become joint owner of the Empire project offshore New York and Beacon off the coast of Massachusetts with existing owner Equinor, another oil company reinventing itself as a renewables firm.
Looney said: “This is an important early step in the delivery of our new strategy and our pivot to truly becoming an integrated energy company.
“Offshore wind is growing at around 20% a year globally and is recognised as being a core part of meeting the world’s need to limit emissions.
BP’s move highlights the speed with which oil companies to are trying to burnish their ESG credentials and the rise in the value of wind farm assets.
Equinor, formerly known as Statoil, paid US$180mln for the assets three years ago.
BP unveiled its new strategy last month with an ambition to increase annual low carbon investment 10-fold to around US$5bn a year by 2030 and to grow its developed renewable generating capacity from 2.5 gigawatts (GW) in 2019 to around 50GW by 2030.