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Energy co. announces office in Ion Houston, Chevron's startup news, and more trending articles

An energy company joins the Ion — and more trending Houston energy transition news. Photo via LinkedIn

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 the Ion's latest energy tenant, Chevron's support of three different startups, and more.

Houston methane leak detection startup gets green light from Chevron

Currently, methane leak detection requires human evaluation. With this innovative new company's tech, this process can be automated. Photo via Getty Images

A Houston startup that is developing a technology to detect methane leaks has moved on to phase two in Chevron's unique business accelerator.

Aquanta Vision Technologies, a Houston-based climate-tech startup, was selected to participate in the scale-up phase of Chevron Studio, a Houston program that matches entrepreneurs with technologies to turn them into businesses. Aquanta's computer vision software completely automates the identification of methane in optical gas imaging, or OGI. The technology originated from Colorado State University and CSU STRATA Technology Transfer.

Babur Ozden, a tech startup entrepreneur, along with Marcus Martinez, the lead inventor and Dan Zimmerle, co-inventor and director of METEC at CSU Energy Institute, came up with the technology to identify the presence and motion of methane in live video streams. Currently, this process of identifying methane requires a human camera operator to interpret the images. This can often be unreliable in the collection of emissions data. Continue reading.

Texas oilfield equipment provider opens Houston office, names new COO amid energy transition growth

SCS Technologies opened a new office in the Ion. Photo courtesy of the Ion

Big changes are happening at a Texas oilfield equipment provider. In the span of a few weeks, the company named a new C-level executive and announced a new strategic office.

SCS Technologies, based in Big Spring, Texas, has opened a new office in the Ion, a 266,000-square-foot innovation hub in Midtown, to focus on strategy and innovation. SCS provides CO2 capture measurement and methane vapor recovery equipment for the energy, industrial, and environmental sectors.

“Embracing Houston's pivotal role in the energy transition, the Ion has swiftly become the epicenter of innovative collaborations. For SCS Technologies, this marks an exciting opportunity to align our capabilities and technology with a diverse consortium of organizations working toward ambitious carbon-neutral goals,” says Cody Johnson, CEO of SCS Technologies, in a news release. “Looking ahead, we are invigorated by the boundless possibilities at the Ion, envisioning groundbreaking solutions and technologies that will unfold there.” Continue reading.

Rice University team breaks records with new sunlight-to-hydrogen device

Rice University engineers have created a device that absorbs light, converts it into electricity, and then uses the electricity to split water molecules and generate hydrogen. Photo courtesy Gustavo Raskoksy/Rice University

A team of Rice University engineers have developed a scalable photoelectrochemical cell that converts sunlight into clean hydrogen at a record-setting pace.

The lab led by Aditya Mohite, an associate professor at Rice, published the findings in a study in Nature Communications late last month, in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, which is backed by the Department of Energy. In it, the team details how they created a device that absorbs light, converts it into electricity, and then uses the electricity to split water molecules and generate hydrogen.

Austin Fehr, a chemical and biomolecular engineering doctoral student at Rice and one of the study’s lead authors, says in a statement that the device "could open up the hydrogen economy and change the way humans make things from fossil fuel to solar fuel." Continue reading.

Chevron supports 2 carbon emissions tech startups

Two startups have recently announced support from Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures. Photo via Getty Images

Chevron Technology Ventures has added two startups to its portfolio — one to its startup accelerator and one via an investment.

Delaware-based Compact Membrane Systems closed an oversubscribed series A funding round of $16.5 million led by Pangaea Ventures. CTV also contributed to the round, along with GC Ventures, Solvay Ventures, and Technip Energies.

CMS's technology is targeting carbon capture in traditionally hard-to-abate sectors, such as steel, cement, etc., which represent more than a tenth of worldwide emissions. The CMS platform, which operates in a 10,000-square-foot lab and manufacturing facility in Delaware, is a fully electrified and low-cost solution.

“We are delighted to have secured such a strong group of investors who share our vision for delivering a revolutionary carbon capture technology for industrial applications,” says Erica Nemser, CEO of Compact Membrane Systems, in a news release. “This oversubscribed funding round catalyzes our ability to deliver large projects. Deployment of our commercial systems by 2026 will have measurable environmental and economic benefits to our customers and society.” Continue reading.

Houston solar company snags partnership with clean energy SaaS platform

Stella Energy Solutions will use the newly launched Empact platform to ensure its projects meet IRA requirements. Photo courtesy of Empact

Houston solar utility and story company has tapped into tech from a clean energy incentive management software and services business.

Stella Energy Solutions, a utility-scale solar and storage developer, has entered into a multi-year agreement with Empact Technologies, which provides software and services for clean energy tax incentive management. The new platform launches this week and is "designed to maximize the impact of clean energy project incentives under America’s Inflation Reduction Act," according to a news release.

Moving forward, Stella will use the Empact Technologies platform to manage its IRA tax incentives on all its projects for the next five years.

“Ensuring adherence to the new IRA tax incentive requirements is a critical element of our project financing,” says Staats Battle, senior vice president of operations at Stella Energy, in the release. “We chose Empact Technologies to manage the entire process on our behalf, from working with our EPCs and project suppliers, to providing third party proof of our compliance to our financing partners.” Continue reading.

Trending News

A View From HETI

LiNova will use the funds to advance its polymer cathode battery technology. Photo via Getty Images

A California startup that's revolutionizing polymer cathode battery technology has announced its series A round of funding with support from Houston-based energy transition leaders.

LiNova Energy Inc. closed a $15.8 million series A round led by Catalus Capital. Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, which has its US HQ in Houston, and Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures, also participated in the round with a coalition of other investors.

LiNova will use the funds with its polymer cathode battery to advance the energy storage landscape, according to the company. The company uses a high-energy polymer battery technology that is designed to allow material replacement of the traditional cathode that is made up of cobalt, nickel, and other materials.

The joint development agreement with Saft will have them collaborate to develop the battery technology for commercialization in Saft's key markets.

“We are proud to collaborate with LiNova in scaling up its technology, leveraging the extensive experience of Saft's research teams, our newest prototype lines, and our industrial expertise in battery cell production," Cedric Duclos, CEO of Saft, says in a news release.

CTV recently announced its $500 million Future Energy Fund III, which aims to lead on emerging mobility, energy decentralization, industrial decarbonization, and the growing circular economy. Chevron has promised to spend $10 billion on lower carbon energy investments and projects by 2028.

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