movers and shakers

New power infrastructure firm forms, appoints Houston-based execs

Four Houston energy execs have been appointed to a newly formed firm. Photo via Getty Images

A leading middle market infrastructure firm has formed a new entity to oversee its power infrastructure portfolio.

ArcLight Capital Partners announced that it has formed Alpha Generation to provide strategic management and oversight of its power infrastructure portfolio. ArcLight and AlphaGen will focus on secure, safe, and sustainable access to power to help meet the growing infrastructure needs created by electrification.

The power infrastructure portfolio will be managed by AlphaGen and includes low-cost, low-carbon strategically located assets that provide critical supply to key demand centers, including throughout the tri-state area of New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut. The portfolio will represent a competitive fleet and one of the nation's largest natural gas-fired power portfolio.

AlphaGen also announces its executive leadership team that features four Houstonians in prominent roles. Mary Anne Brelinsky has been named as president and chief commercial officer, Stacey Peterson as CFO, Nick Rahn as COO, and Jason Buchman will serve as general counsel.

Brelinsky is in charge of leading the commercial-facing aspects of AlphaGen. She served as president of EDF Energy North America, which she helped grow to become the third largest energy retail business in North America. Previously, Peterson was CEO of utility-scale battery storage developer and operator, Broad Reach Power. She has 20 years of experience in power and utilities. Rahn was formerly the Senior Vice President of Asset Management at Competitive Power Ventures (CPV), was CEO of Optim Energy, and Vice President of Resource Development, Environmental and Construction at PacifiCorp,which is a division of Berkshire Hathaway Energy. Buchman has over 25 years of experience, as he has held senior and executive roles at public and private companies specializing in wholesale power generation, oilfield and analytical services, and infrastructure development.

Additional non-local appointments include: Curt Morgan as CEO and Chairman, effective May 1, 2024; Mark Sudbey will serve as interim CEO until May; and Michael Bruneau as executive vice president of corporate development and strategy.

"AlphaGen has brought together a highly accomplished and experienced executive team responsible for creating a common culture and vision, capturing efficiencies, leveraging economies of scale, and driving a standard of operational excellence across ArcLight's funds' power generating portfolio," Curt Morgan, CEO and chairman of AlphaGen, says in a news release.

"We believe we are well positioned to serve the current and future needs of the portfolios' customers as the demand for safe, reliable, and dispatchable power continues to grow. We believe our power assets will continue to play a critical role in grid reliability and energy security for decades to come," he continues.

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A View From HETI

Houston could have ranked higher on a global report of top cities in the world if it had a bit more business diversification. Photo via Getty Images

A new analysis positions the Energy Capital of the World as an economic dynamo, albeit a flawed one.

The recently released Oxford Economics Global Cities Index, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s 1,000 largest cities, puts Houston at No. 25.

Houston ranks well for economics (No. 15) and human capital (No. 18), but ranks poorly for governance (No. 184), environment (No. 271), and quality of life (No. 298).

New York City appears at No. 1 on the index, followed by London; San Jose, California; Tokyo; and Paris. Dallas lands at No. 18 and Austin at No. 39.

In its Global Cities Index report, Oxford Economics says Houston’s status as “an international and vertically integrated hub for the oil and gas sector makes it an economic powerhouse. Most aspects of the industry — downstream, midstream, and upstream — are managed from here, including the major fuel refining and petrochemicals sectors.”

“And although the city has notable aerospace and logistics sectors and has diversified into other areas such as biomedical research and tech, its fortunes remain very much tied to oil and gas,” the report adds. “As such, its economic stability and growth lag other leading cities in the index.”

The report points out that Houston ranks highly in the human capital category thanks to the large number of corporate headquarters in the region. The Houston area is home to the headquarters of 26 Fortune 500 companies, including ExxonMobil, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Sysco.

Another contributor to Houston’s human capital ranking, the report says, is the presence of Rice University, the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center.

“Despite this,” says the report, “it lacks the number of world-leading universities that other cities have, and only performs moderately in terms of the educational attainment of its residents.”

Slower-than-expected population growth and an aging population weaken Houston’s human capital score, the report says.

Meanwhile, Houston’s score for quality is life is hurt by a high level of income inequality, along with a low life expectancy compared with nearly half the 1,000 cities on the list, says the report.

Also in the quality-of-life bucket, the report underscores the region’s variety of arts, cultural, and recreational activities. But that’s offset by urban sprawl, traffic congestion, an underdeveloped public transportation system, decreased air quality, and high carbon emissions.

Furthermore, the report downgrades Houston’s environmental stature due to the risks of hurricanes and flooding.

“Undoubtedly, Houston is a leading business [center] that plays a key role in supporting the U.S. economy,” says the report, “but given its shortcomings in other categories, it will need to follow the path of some of its more well-rounded peers in order to move up in the rankings.”

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This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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