Oil giant BP buys Open Energi, flexes deeper into electricity trading 


BP corralled yet another clean electricity innovator into its kraal today, paying an undisclosed sum to acquire flex and DSR provider Open Energi. 

Open Energi deploys AI and optimisation software across its clients’ batteries and its own. It  manages 80 MW of directable storage mainly in the UK and Ireland for clients including Tesla, Sainsbury’s, Pivot Power, Severn Trent, RWE, Zenobe and a US-owned soccer club. 

BP said it will now slot the London-based firm into its BP Launchpad nursery of transformative innovators and energy start-ups.

Open Energi was founded in 1999. Companies House reports Ombu, a nominee company, as controlling at least 75% of its equity. 

Capturing value by anticipating peaks and troughs, and then monetising them for clients and for itself, is the core of any power aggregator’s business mission, flex traders very much included. 

As such, algorithm-driven trading across complex power markets has strong parallels with BP’s traditional vast operations in oil and gas trading. 

Sam Skerry, senior vice president at BP Launchpad and Ventures, acknowledged as much.  The new owner will also explore how Open Energi’s core Dynamic Demand 2.0  technology – its sole management  platform – can work internationally across BP’s trading and shipping business and its wider low carbon portfolio.

“Open Energi’s technology helps manage the intermittency of increasing global renewable capacity, creating both energy saving and revenue opportunities,” said Skerry. 

“The acquisition will help BP develop digitally-driven integrated energy systems and deliver innovative, efficient and flexible energy solutions for customers”. 

The hydrocarbon behemoth’s recent bag of renewables and clean electricity assets includes Chargemaster, the UK’s leading EV infrastructure provider, plus solar farmer Lightsource. 

Increasingly the hydrocarbon burner BP is hedging bets between ‘ancient sunlight’ – i.e. oil and its derivatives – and the contemporary variety.  


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