BP Oil now has a SOLAR division.

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No, I'm not trying to make a "conspiracy" out of this, but I DO find it rather interesting that they're making such a big deal out of it. I only hope that solar tech will become cheaper and more easily available with this kind of attention.


If you get a chance, glance at the HOME POWER magazine, August/Sept. 2000 issue (issue #78 ) . Check out the full page ads on page 3 & 4. Also, they've got ads throughout the entire issue. Here's a quote taken directly from their ad:


"We've discovered new planets in our solar system. BP Solar, we're an advanced solar eneergy company. We manufacture premium solar modules and we're on the leading edge with new, low cost technologies. But we do much more..."

"We provide Engineered Power Solutions (EPS) to enhance your quality of life and we have joined with industrial leaders to bring you the best line of renewable energy products in the univer. (My emphasis on the following line: ) All backed by a name that is known and trusted throughout the world."


"Business opportunities now available - join our force!"

They list contacts as:

American Energy Tech. - Florida Dankoff Solar Products - New Mexico Effective Solar Products - Louisiana Alternative Solar Products - California Intermountain Solar Tech. - Utah Talmage Solar Engineering - Maine

Powersource Energy Systems - British Columbia, Canada Solar Solutions - Manitoba, Canada Powersource Energy Systems - Alberta, Canada Trans-Canada Engergie - Quebec, ??? Powersource Energy Systems - Ontario, Canada.

Also shown are:

Southwest Windpower, Two Seas Metalworks, Surrette, Pulse Energy Systems, Trace Engineering, Concorde Sun XTender and EPS (Engineered Power Solutions).

My, how times are a changin'.

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), August 05, 2000



BP and the company they bought out , Amoco, have had a solar division for many years and are, in fact, the largest solar company in the world. I'm sure that BP would like to sell whatever people will use for energy, be it oil or solar. Why does this strike you as a sign the times are changing?

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), August 06, 2000.


Actually, I didn't know that Amocco/BP were into the renewable energy field, so when I saw the multitude of their ads in the magazine, I was quite surprised. Another person explain it along similar lines the way you did, so I'm rather embarressed about my not "keeping up with the times".

As to how "times are a changin'", it seems that the larger companies are beginning to consider renewable energy as a viable alternative, treating solar (etc...) as being a more respectable energy instead of as "fringe". I hope that with larger corporate interest, improvements in technology and lower prices will soon follow. Perhaps then, renewable energy can be used to its full potential by a *much* larger % of the world's population, especially in 3rd world countries that can't afford normal energy sources.

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), August 06, 2000.


I don't think that BP (or any other major oil company, for that matter) cares about whether renewable energy is viewed as a "fringe" idea. I think they care about making a profit. Right now, the cheapest form of energy is natural gas, followed by oil. At some point, I'm sure that things like solar will be able to beat the price of oil and BP wants to be selling solar power when that happens.

-- Jim Cooke (JJCooke@yahoo.com), August 06, 2000.

Jims right on the money regarding this issue Deb. You neednt feel embarrassed about your lack of knowledge in this area, I suspect most folks have had only surface input in this area. I was in the business of manufacturing solar panels and systems in the 70s (in-between days of partying) and many traditional energy giants had some degree of involvement back then. Of course the whole alternative energy industry was supported by a smorgasbord of federal and state tax credits and utility company rebates. Ronnie (Nuke Em) Reagan pretty much did away with the credits and the business dried-up in the early 80s.

-- Ra (tion@l.1), August 06, 2000.


Thanks, I thought I was reporting *hot* news (wry grin)...

I'm really impressed though, with all of the new solar appliances & etc... Someday, God willing, I'd like to build an energy-efficient home, appliances and all.

Too bad about the credits being yanked - that sounds like it really could have changed the mindset of an entire generation, with very positive benefits for many people, especially the poor (long-term payoffs). Who knows, maybe in the future?

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), August 07, 2000.

"...that sounds like it really could have changed the mindset of an entire generation..."

Well, Deb, what's wrong with starting it now? All it takes is one person to start the chain and others pick up on it.

Yeah, that's my idealistic side; but how do you think anything becomes a fad or the norm? It has to start somewhere :-)

P.S. How'd it go with the car? Sounded like a really high estimate to me; like they knew they had you "trapped". Hope that wasn't the case.

-- Patricia (PatriciaS@lasvegas.com), August 07, 2000.


THanks for asking - the final bill came to $2400. Both the head gasket and 2 heads (cylinders?) + the radiator were shot - they needed to be completely replaced. The '95 Sable (3.8 engine) has a recall for the head gaskets, infact, they replace the entire engine for that model, but unfortunately, our '97 Sable (3.0 engine) isn't covered, yet.

As for the cost, we asked around to different repair shops and it seemed like a pretty fair deal. At least it wasn't at a dealership - there's no way we could have afforded those prices, at least without hocking body parts...

When they rebuilt the engine though, they let the airconditioner coolant evaporate out, so we need to have it recharged - probably about $200 done here locally(?). Could be a lot worse though, I guess.

-- Deb M. (vmcclell@columbus.rr.com), August 08, 2000.

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