BP to exit solar energy business after 40 years

“The continuing global economic challenges have significantly impacted the solar industry, making it difficult to sustain long-term returns for the company,” Mike Petrucci, the unit’s chief executive officer, told staff in an internal letter last week.

The company will wind down the unit, BP Solar, over several months, he said. About 100 employees will be affected.

BP Solar is the latest victim in a solar market that is facing oversupply and price pressures since Asian manufacturers started ramping up. Crashing module prices helped tip three U.S. makers including Solyndra LLC into bankruptcy this year, and Solon SE, Germany’s first listed solar company, filed for insolvency last week.