teaming up

Houston energy company's European arm enters into offshore carbon storage project

Fidelis New Energy's newly announced Norne Carbon Storage Hub in Denmark has announced a new customer. Photo courtesy of Fidelis

A Houston company has signed onto an offshore carbon storage deal in Denmark.

Fidelis New Energy Europe, the European arm of Houston-headquartered Fidelis New Energy, and Norway-based Carbon Centric have signed a letter of intent for Fidelis recently announced Norne Carbon Storage Hub in Denmark. With the agreement, Norne will "safely and permanently store CO2 emissions of Carbon Centric's clients," according to a news release.

"Norne enables the safe and environmentally friendly decarbonization of key segments of the Danish and European economies while ensuring industries remain globally competitive due to the low overall costs of CO2 mitigation," Bengt Jarlsjo, co-founder, president, and COO of Fidelis, says in a news release. "This announcement with Carbon Centric is an important milestone for the decarbonization of Denmark and Northern Europe. We look forward to our continued collaboration with Carbon Centric."

Carbon Centric plans to store around 800,000 tons of CO2 annually with Norne by 2027, according to the release, and the company's CO2 will be moved to Fidelis' CO2 reception facility at the Port of Aalborg. Carbon Centric has carbon management already underway in Norway and Iceland, with others planned inDenmark and Sweden.

"At Carbon Centric we have been looking for a company like Fidelis that will be able to ensure cost-effective large scale carbon storage for our clients. Norne is visionary with its ability to scale up quickly and will allow us to build out our businesses together," Kenneth Juul, Carbon Centric chief commercial officer and co-founder, says in the release. "With Denmark's foresight of moving quickly toward onshore carbon storage and with Fidelis' plans and prior three years of work on the Norne vision to provide carbon storage solutions on both Jutland and Zealand, we see a great opportunity to expand our activities in Denmark."

Carbon Centric is just the latest customer for the Norne Carbon Storage Hub, which was announced in May by Fidelis. The facility is billed as being "safe, ESG-friendly, and economically advantaged." The hub reportedly aims to store more than 20 million tons of CO2 per year by 2030.

Earlier this month, Fidelis New Energy selected Mason County, West Virginia selected Mason County, West Virginia, as the site for its carbon neutral hydrogen production facility and low carbon microgrid — The Mountaineer GigaSystem and the Monarch Cloud Campus for data centers powered by net-zero hydrogen.

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A View From HETI

HEXASpec was founded by Rice Ph.D. candidates Tianshu Zhai and Chen-Yang Lin, who are a part of Lilie’s 2024 Innovation Fellows program. Photo courtesy of Rice

A group of Rice University student-founded companies shared $100,000 of cash prizes at an annual startup competition — and three of those winning companies are focused on sustainable solutions.

Liu Idea Lab for Innovation and Entrepreneurship's H. Albert Napier Rice Launch Challenge, hosted by Rice earlier this month, named its winners for 2024. HEXASpec, a company that's created a new material to improve heat management for the semiconductor industry, won the top prize and $50,000 cash.

Founded by Rice Ph.D. candidates Tianshu Zhai and Chen-Yang Lin, who are a part of Lilie’s 2024 Innovation Fellows program, HEXASpec is improving efficiency and sustainability within the semiconductor industry, which usually consumes millions of gallons of water used to cool data centers. According to Rice's news release, HEXASpec's "next-generation chip packaging offer 20 times higher thermal conductivity and improved protection performance, cooling the chips faster and reducing the operational surface temperature."

A few other sustainability-focused startups won prizes, too. CoFlux Purification, a company that has a technology that breaks down PFAS using a novel absorbent for chemical-free water, won second place and $25,000, as well as the Audience Choice Award, which came with an additional $2,000.

Solidec, a company that's working on a platform to produce chemicals from captured carbon, and HEXASpec won Outstanding Achievement in Climate Solutions Prizes, which came with $1,000.

The NRLC, open to Rice students, is Lilie's hallmark event. Last year's winner was fashion tech startup, Goldie.

“We are the home of everything entrepreneurship, innovation and research commercialization for the entire Rice student, faculty and alumni communities,” Kyle Judah, executive director at Lilie, says in a news release. “We’re a place for you to immerse yourself in a problem you care about, to experiment, to try and fail and keep trying and trying and trying again amongst a community of fellow rebels, coloring outside the lines of convention."

This year, the competition started with 100 student venture teams before being whittled down to the final five at the championship. The program is supported by Lilie’s mentor team, Frank Liu and the Liu Family Foundation, Rice Business, Rice’s Office of Innovation, and other donors

“The heart and soul of what we’re doing to really take it to the next level with entrepreneurship here at Rice is this fantastic team,” Peter Rodriguez, dean of Rice Business, adds. “And they’re doing an outstanding job every year, reaching further, bringing in more students. My understanding is we had more than 100 teams submit applications. It’s an extraordinarily high number. It tells you a lot about what we have at Rice and what this team has been cooking and making happen here at Rice for a long, long time.”

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This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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