The pair announced memoranda of understanding (MoU) for a new “strategic collaboration” on Thursday, which they said would “significantly expand” public fast charging sites for electric vehicles (EVs), and support the development of new green hydrogen production hubs across Europe and the UK.
On EVs, the two will form a new joint venture that intends to invest up to €1 billion (£840m) in a network of up to 11,000 rapid and ultra-fast EV public charge points across Spain and Portugal.
This would see the installation and operation of 5,000 fast charge points by 2025, and up to a total of 11,000 by 2030, including both existing and future fast-charging hubs.
They are also “looking at options” to jointly serve EV customers in the UK, where BP already operates charging infrastructure via its BP Pulse business. The company’s European network already extends to some 10,000 charge points, mainly in UK and Germany.
It’s unclear whether the new sites will be rolled out under the Pulse name, or if a separate brand will be developed.
A spokesperson for BP said the company would provide further updates on the ventures in due course.
BP said it expects to use some of its 1,300 fuel retail sites in Spain and Portugal as locations for charging hubs as part of the new venture.
Iberdrola already operates more than 2,500 points across Spain and Portugal, with others under development.
A separate joint venture will be formed to buil out new, large-scale integrated green hydrogen production in the aforementioned markets too, as well as production of derivatives such as green ammonia, and methanol, that could be exported into northern Europe.
The companies aim to jointly develop hydrogen production hubs in Spain, Portugal and UK, up to a total capacity of up to 600,000 tonnes per year, and supplied by new renewable power.
The venture would combine Iberdrola’s record in renewables development with BP’s gas processing and trading expertise – and its roster of global customers. Iberdrola currently operates just under 60GW of installed generating capacity across the globe.
Key to the new venture is a green hydrogen project at BP’s Castellón refinery near Valencia, for which the two have already submitted plans as part of the Spanish government’s hydrogen value chain PERTE call.
In addition, hydrogen projects currently under development by both companies, as well as new projects, will be part of the new venture agreement.
In May Iberdrola announced the commissioning of the “world’s largest” solar-powered green hydrogen plant in Puertollano in central Spain. A dedicated 100MW photovoltaic (PV) solar plant powers the site, which is capable of producing up to 3,000 tonnes per year of hydrogen.
The pair said they also intend to explore green hydrogen opportunities in other geographies.
Both joint venture agreements are set to be finalised by the end of 2022, subject to regulatory approvals.
Iberdrola chairman Ignacio Galán said the scale of the energy transition required “alliances” between companies such as his and BP, “which have the technology and knowledge necessary to help accelerate Europe’s industrial development and generate, at the same time, well-being and new opportunities for all through clean energy.”
BP CEO Bernard Looney, added: “Creating the lower carbon energy solutions that our customers want and need requires the integration of different technologies, capabilities and forms of energy. We can deliver this faster and at scale when we work in partnership with others.
“We have enormous respect for Iberdrola who have been an early leader in the energy transition – and are very excited about what we can deliver together.”