Global energy business BP is set to invest $200m over a period of three years to acquire a 43% stake in European solarpower company Lightsource.

The two companies have agreed to enter a strategic collaboration that would combine Lightsource’s solar development and management expertise with BP’s global scale, relationships and trading capabilities to boost future growth worldwide.

BP group CEO Bob Dudley said: “BP has been committed to advancing lower-carbon energy for more than 20 years and we’re excited to be coming back to solar, but in a new and very different way.

“BP will pay $50m to Lightsource on completion of the agreement and the remaining amount will be paid in instalments over three years.”

“While our history in the solar industry was centred on manufacturing panels, Lightsource BP will instead grow value through developing and managing major solar projects around the world.”

Under the terms of the deal, BP will pay $50m to Lightsource on completion of the agreement and the remaining amount will be paid in instalments over three years.

Lightsource founder and group CEO Nick Boyle said: “Not only does this partnership make strategic sense, but our combined forces will be part of accelerating the low-carbon transition.”

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Expected to be completed early next year, the acquisition will see Lightsource rebranded as Lightsource BP.

The new investment will help support BP’s existing alternative energy business, which includes wind energy, biofuels and biopower.

Lightsource BP will continue to build and deliver Lightsource’s 6GW portfolio that is mainly focused in the US, India, Europe and the Middle East.