tapping into tech

Houston company names new tech partner on projects aimed at increasing grid reliability

Grid United announced a new partnership with Hitachi Energy that it's entered into a collaboration to work on high-voltage direct current technology for Grid United transmission projects. Photo via hitachienergy.com

A Houston company has tapped a new tech partner to work on projects that are expected to help boost transmission capacity across the U.S. amidst increased, continued demands for energy.

Houston-based electrical transmission developer Grid United and Hitachi Energy announced at CERAWeek that it's entered into a collaboration to work on high-voltage direct current technology for Grid United transmission projects. These projects will aim to interconnect the eastern and western regional power grids in the U.S. The Eastern Interconnection east of the Rocky Mountains, the Western Interconnection west of the Rockies and the Texas Interconnection run by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, make up the three main power grids.

This technology and these projects play a key role in the U.S. government’s commitment to accelerating the energy transition, which includes the priorities of the U.S. Department of Energy. The collaboration is considered a capacity reservation agreement in which Hitachi Energy will provide HVDC technology to support the development of multiple Grid United HVDC interconnections. The interconnections aim to mitigate the impact of extreme events and accommodate demands for electricity.

“With industry leading HVDC technology and a global track record, Hitachi Energy is a needed collaborator for the development of a more resilient and reliable electric power grid,” Michael Skelly, CEO and co-founder of Grid United, says in a news release. “By working with companies like Hitachi Energy and partnering with incumbent utilities, we’re confident we can quicken the pace of modernizing and strengthening the U.S. electric grid to meet rapidly increasing electricity demand.”

The multi-contract framework is one of the first of new business models, which allows Hitachi Energy to plan in “advance to increase manufacturing capacity, expand and train the workforce, and maximize standardization to increase efficiency between successive projects” according to a news release.

We are proud to collaborate with Grid United to strengthen the U.S. power grid, making it more flexible, reliable, and secure,” Managing Director of Grid Integration Business Niklas Persson says in a news release. “By applying our innovative new business model which enables speed and scale in the supply chain, we are confident we can make important contributions to streamlining the development process to help accelerate the energy transition.”

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A View From HETI

Under this deal, the joint venture, RPC Power, will build power generation and storage assets for the sale of energy and related services to ERCOT. Photo via conduitpower.co

Houston-based Conduit Power is broadening the scope of its joint venture with Oklahoma City-based Riley Exploration Permian.

Under this deal, the joint venture, RPC Power, will build power generation and storage assets for the sale of energy and related services to the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the power grid for the bulk of Texas.

RPC Power, established in March 2023, owns and operates power generation assets that use Riley Permian’s natural gas to power its oilfield operations in Yoakum County, located in West Texas.

The expanded relationship will enable RPC Power to sell power and related services to ERCOT, with plans for 100 megawatts of natural gas-fueled generation and battery energy storage systems across facilities in West Texas. The facilities are expected to start commercial operations in 2025.

In conjunction with the expanded scope, Riley Permian bumped up its stake in RPC Power from 35 percent to 50 percent. Furthermore, it plans to sell up to 10 million cubic feet per day of natural gas to RPC Power as feedstock supply for the new generation facilities.

"Our JV expansion at RPC Power represents a significant milestone for our company, and we are proud to build upon our successful partnership with Riley Permian,” Travis Windholz, managing director of Conduit, says in a news release.

Conduit, a portfolio company of private equity firm Grey Rock Investment Partners, designs, builds, and operates distributed power generation systems.

Riley Exploration Permian specializes in the exploration, development, and production of oil and natural gas reserves, primarily within the Permian Basin.

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