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Future thinking

At Lightsource BP, innovation and best-in-class procurement are key parts of our corporate DNA. Our approach is focused on shifting the boundaries of hardware and technology towards smarter and digitised energy delivery. Global reach and buying power places us at the forefront of innovation, which enables us to advance further into developing new and exciting products that truly are win-win solutions for our customers.

Lightsource Labs

Lightsource Labs is a technology venture focused in research and innovation. LS Labs’ mission is to leverage the expertise Lightsource BP has generated in the operation and monitoring of solar assets to produce new products and technologies. We aim to become a leader of the residential smart energy transition, helping ‘energy prosumers’, utilities and network operators to optimise their interaction with the energy system.

Our pioneering Home Energy Management System

LS Labs has developed a market leading Home Energy Management System (HEMS), able to revolutionise the way consumers purchase and use electricity in the home. HEMS has been designed to seamlessly integrate solar generation, battery storage, Internet of Things enabled devices and smart plugs. Ensuring households get maximum benefit from any electricity they generate at home.

HEMS gateway

The Home Energy Management System is hosted on a local HEMS Gateway developed by LS Labs. The Gateway monitors and controls devices to optimise energy use in the home. The HEMS Gateway allows for future functionality and connectivity to be added.

Floating Solar

Floating solar installations rely on the simplest principles of construction: instead of being mounted on frames, the panels are set on specially designed, air-filled floats, which are secured together to form a giant raft of solar PV panels. The lifespan of a floating solar farm is usually a minimum of 20 years, with the entire structure designed to withstand exposure to weather and water conditions.

Full service offering

Lightsource BP floating solar farms allow utilities and businesses to benefit from what is essentially a floating power station, developed, constructed, connected and maintained at no cost to the utility or energy consumer. Electricity generated by the panels can be connected either directly into a power network or behind the meter to a customer, often at prices well below those offered by retail energy providers.

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Corporate Power Purchase Agreements

A Power Purchase Agreement, or PPA, from Lightsource BP, allows corporate entities to secure a portion of their annual electricity consumption from solar power, at absolutely no upfront cost. We fund, plan, develop, construct and connect a solar farm designed specifically for your business, and charge a fixed, often index-linked rate for the electricity. This not only helps you to reduce your carbon emissions but also allows you to secure power at a rate guaranteed to stay the same for at least the next 20 years.

Private Wire

For businesses with a single centre of operations and an energy demand of over 5,000MWh a year, located near enough suitable land, Lightsource BP can offer a private wire PPA. We’ll build a solar installation near your site, and hardwire it into your private network, behind the meter.

Sleeved PPA

For businesses with a high energy demand spread across many sites, or for those located in urban areas without suitable land for solar installations, we can offer sleeved PPAs. We’ll construct a solar farm in an optimum location, and your business will receive the equivalent solar electricity generated, via the grid.

Resolving Grid Capacity Limitations

As embedded generation has now been developed with onshore wind and solar, it’s not uncommon to discover that grid limitations prevent project development in the most suitable locations. In the past, when faced with these issues, Lightsource BP has leveraged the considerable experience and ingenuity of our staff to come up with workable solutions:

Building Substations

When Lightsource BP developed three solar farms in North Cornwall, progress was threatened by the fact that the DNO, Western Power Distribution’s, had limited/no capacity for new 33kV generation connections. In order to overcome this issue, we worked with WPD-SW to develop new DNO infrastructure – a 132/33kV substation initially capable of enabling 50 MWs worth of new generation schemes. Once completed, three solar farms and two wind turbines were successfully connected into the 132/33kV substation. This scheme saved a vast amount of time and cost by avoiding reinforcement works associated with individual 33kV connections.

Multiple Connections

Construction of what is now called our Northern Ireland Cluster was delayed not by issues with the transmission grid, but by limited bays at the primary substation. With only one bay available, and five sites requiring connection, we worked with the DNO to develop a suitable solution. In the end, we constructed our own substation at Lough Road, and then connected that to the primary substation via a single cable. All five projects, totalling 32MW, connect to the national grid through one point of connection, using the single available bay at the primary station.