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bp's first fast-charging EV station opens at Houston headquarters

The new bp pulse station — the first bp pulse branded Gigahub in the U.S. — is open for business. Photo via bp.com

A Houston company has announced the completion of its new high-speed electric vehicle charging site.

The bp pulse branded Gigahub at bp's Houston campus — the first of its kind with its 24 high-speed charge points — is ready to power up EVs, Arcadis, a global design and consultancy organization for natural and built assets, announced.

"The opening of our first bp pulse Gigahub is a major step in bp pulse's plans to build out a national EV charging network," Sujay Sharma, CEO, bp pulse Americas, says in a news release. "EV drivers need access to reliable, fast, on-the-go charging to enable an exceptional customer experience. Working with leaders in the space, like Arcadis, is allowing us to deliver the charging experience EV drivers need in Houston and beyond."

The firm also reported that solar panel parking canopies might be added to the facility later, as well as expanding to include restrooms, a lounge, and convenience store, if needed. bp originally announced the project in March.

"We are proud to work with bp pulse on energy transition projects such as these that accelerate a planet positive future," Brooke Bonkoski, president of Resilience Environment US at Arcadis, adds. "Arcadis, like bp, is committed to moving the energy transition forward. Delivering this project in the City of Houston, the energy capital of the world, is particularly impactful."

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A View From HETI

Governor Abbott said he was sending a letter to the Public Utility Commission of Texas requiring it to investigate why restoration has taken so long and what must be done to fix it. Photo via X/Governor Abbott

With around 270,000 homes and businesses still without power in the Houston area almost a week after Hurricane Beryl hit Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott on Sunday said he's demanding an investigation into the response of the utility that serves the area as well as answers about its preparations for upcoming storms.

“Power companies along the Gulf Coast must be prepared to deal with hurricanes, to state the obvious,” Abbott said at his first news conference about Beryl since returning to the state from an economic development trip to Asia.

While CenterPoint Energy has restored power to about 2 million customers since the storm hit on July 8, the slow pace of recovery has put the utility, which provides electricity to the nation’s fourth-largest city, under mounting scrutiny over whether it was sufficiently prepared for the storm that left people without air conditioning in the searing summer heat.

Abbott said he was sending a letter to the Public Utility Commission of Texas requiring it to investigate why restoration has taken so long and what must be done to fix it. In the Houston area, Beryl toppled transmission lines, uprooted trees and snapped branches that crashed into power lines.

With months of hurricane season left, Abbott said he's giving CenterPoint until the end of the month to specify what it'll be doing to reduce or eliminate power outages in the event of another storm. He said that will include the company providing detailed plans to remove vegetation that still threatens power lines.

Abbott also said that CenterPoint didn't have “an adequate number of workers pre-staged" before the storm hit.

Following Abbott's news conference, CenterPoint said its top priority was “power to the remaining impacted customers as safely and quickly as possible,” adding that on Monday, the utility expects to have restored power to 90% of its customers. CenterPoint said it was committed to working with state and local leaders and to doing a “thorough review of our response.”

CenterPoint also said Sunday that it’s been “investing for years” to strengthen the area’s resilience to such storms.

The utility has defended its preparation for the storm and said that it has brought in about 12,000 additional workers from outside Houston. It has said it would have been unsafe to preposition those workers inside the predicted storm impact area before Beryl made landfall.

Brad Tutunjian, vice president for regulatory policy for CenterPoint Energy, said last week that the extensive damage to trees and power poles hampered the ability to restore power quickly.

A post Sunday on CenterPoint's website from its president and CEO, Jason Wells, said that over 2,100 utility poles were damaged during the storm and over 18,600 trees had to be removed from power lines, which impacted over 75% of the utility's distribution circuits.

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