Sustainable startup scores deal with United, Gastech to return to Houston, and more top news from the week
Editor's note: It's been a busy news week for energy transition in Houston, and some of this week's headlines resonated with EnergyCapital readers on social media and daily newsletter. Trending news included updates from Houston energy startups, Gastech's Houston return, and more.
United Airlines is interested in buying Cemvita's sustainable aviation fuel when it's produced. Photo courtesy of Cemvita
An innovative Houston company is celebrating a new deal with a global airline.
Cemvita Corp. announced a new offtake arrangement with United Airlines. Cemvita's first full-scale sustainable aviation fuel plant will provide up to 1 billion gallons of SAF to United Airlines. The 20-year contract specifies that Cemvita will supply up to 50 million gallons annually to United.
It's not the first collaboration Cemvita has had with the airline. Last year, United invested in the biotech company, which used the funding to open its Houston pilot plant. Read more.
Next year, Gastech returns to Houston for the first time since 2019. Photo via Gastech Event/LinkedIn
In one year, a global energy industry event will make its return to Houston.
Gastech, billed as the world’s largest exhibition and conference for the natural gas, LNG, hydrogen, low carbon solutions, and climate technologies, will take place in Houston September 17 to 20, 2024, according to the organizer, dmg events. It'll be the first time the event takes place in Houston since 2019.
“Gastech is a global event that draws tens of thousands of attendees and millions of dollars in economic impact to its host city, and we are incredibly excited to have in Houston," Michael Heckman, president and CEO of Houston First Corp., says in a press release. Read more.
Houston startup Sage Geosystems released the results of its pilot at a Shell-drilled oil well in the Rio Grande Valley’s Starr County. Photo via sagegeosystems.com
As it seeks an additional $30 million in series A funding, Houston startup Sage Geosystems has released promising results from a test of its technology for underground storage of geothermal energy.
Sage says the pilot project, conducted at a Shell-drilled oil well in the Rio Grande Valley’s Starr County, showed the company’s long-term energy storage can compete on a cost basis with lithium-ion battery storage, hydropower storage, and natural gas-powered peaker plants. Peaker plants supply power during periods of peak energy demand.
Furthermore, Sage’s geothermal technology will provide more power capacity at half the cost of other advanced geothermal systems, the company says. Read more.
Repsol announced that it's buying ConnectGen from Quantum Capital Group, a Houston-based private equity firm that focuses on energy investments. Photo via Getty Images
Spanish energy giant Repsol is breaking into the U.S. market for onshore wind power with its $768 million deal to purchase Houston-based renewable energy startup ConnectGen.
Repsol is buying ConnectGen from Quantum Capital Group, a Houston-based private equity firm that focuses on energy investments, according to a September 8 news release. Quantum’s renewable energy arm, 547 Energy, owns ConnectGen.
ConnectGen, founded in 2018, operates 278 megawatts of solar energy projects in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Its nationwide development pipeline features more than 20,000 megawatts of wind power, solar power, and energy storage projects.
“All of us at Quantum and 547 Energy are looking forward to watching Repsol convert these development projects into operating assets that will help power the American economy with clean renewable electricity over the next decade,” says Wil VanLoh, founder, chairman, and CEO of Quantum. Read more.
Moelis hired Arash Nazhad as Houston-based managing director and co-head of its newly formed clean energy technology group. Photo via rice.edu
A Houston investment banker has been tapped as co-leader of a new team at investment bank Moelis & Co. that will mine the energy sector for cleantech deals.
Publicly traded Moelis said September 7 that it hired Arash Nazhad as Houston-based managing director and co-head of its newly formed clean energy technology group. Nazhad joins Moelis from financial services giant Citigroup, where he was managing director of its clean energy investment team. He worked at Citigroup for nine years. Read more.