The move, confirmed by BPs decision to withdraw from the Australian Governments Solar Flagships projects, was as "unavoidable" a company spokesperson told pv magazine, after the company had spent many months trying to restructure its business to remain profitable.
Blaming the increasing "commodification" of the market, the BP alternative energy spokesman confirmed that the company had attempted to refocus its solar participation on supplying power-plant scale projects in mid 2011, as opposed to the rooftop market. When this did not deliver results BP was after from its solar business, the company took the decision to withdraw from solar completely.
At present the BP alternative energy website reads:
"BP is winding down its solar operations.??This decision was very difficult given BPs near 40-year commitment to solar energy. However, the major global solar markets have experienced tremendous change over the past few years and we have been unable to generate the necessary returns to continue our operations.??Throughout our long history in solar energy, BP Solar has driven the growth of the global industry through advances in technology. We have built landmark projects, including the recent 32 megawatt Long Island Solar Farm in the US. Over the years, BP Solar has installed approximately 1.6 gigawatts of products in almost every corner of the world."
The statement continues that all valid warranty claims will be honored.
In terms of existing photovoltaic projects that the company is still involved with, such as the Long Island Solar Farm, the company said that it will look for suitable partners or buyers, so as the projects can continue without BPs involvement.
On December 27, BP sold its stake in the Tata BP Solar joint venture in India. As a part of the deal, Tata Power retain access to "certain BP technology" until 2013.
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