BP subsidiary Lightsource BP has acquired a trio of solar projects in Italy with a combined peak capacity of 156 megawatts.

Lightsource BP, in which UK supermajor BP holds a 50% stake, revealed this week it had acquired the three projects from solar developer Horizon Firm.

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It added the deal would bring its Italian solar development pipeline peak capacity to over 1.5 gigawatts, which is said would help contribute to the country’s ambition of reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

Two of the projects are located in the province of Agrigento in Scicily - the 40.9 MWp Canicattì project and the 58.2 MWp Torre di Mastro project. The third project - the 57.4 MWp Manfredonia project - is based in the Apulia region, in southern Italy. All three projects are expected to reach ready-to-build status next year.

Biodiversity boost

The projects will see Lightsource BP invest €105 million ($126.7 million) locally, with the company claiming it will lead to the creation of 1300 green jobs in construction, land management, agricultural activities, and engineering.

“We acquired this portfolio from Horizon Firm because these projects have been sensitively planned around local ecological and heritage values,” Lightsource BP’s in-country lead for Italy, Giovanni Mascari, said.

“We intend to build on this good work to demonstrate that solar projects can create opportunities to meet climate goals whilst addressing local economic growth and enabling diversification of income for the agriculture sector. We look forward to working closely with local authorities and agriculture specialists to further establish our plans for these projects.”

Lightsource BP noted the entire land area of the Manfredonia project, which covers 104 hectares, will offer both immediate and long-term opportunities to boost biodiversity and create diversified income for local rural businesses.

It intends to establish enhanced pollinator habitats and bee farming within the first five years, while over the longer term 3700 olive trees will be planted around the site boundary for harvesting.

Lightsource BP also revealed Thursday it had entered into an exclusive agreement with Horizon to acquire an additional 130 MWp of solar projects. It did not list the additional projects, but stated it aims to wrap up in the deal in the coming months.