the view from heti

Building the future of STEM leadership at Houston's energy-focused high school

The Energy Institute High School is uniquely positioned to build a lifelong foundation for those pursuing degrees and careers in the energy industry. Photo via htxenergytransition.org

Established in 2013, Houston’s Energy Institute High School is the first of its kind in the United States. Houston Independent School District (HISD), the nation’s seventh-largest school district, opened the innovative, STEM-focused magnet high school to support Houston’s increasing demand for STEM education and align with the city’s status as a major energy hub.

As the Energy Capital of the World, Houston is the leading domestic and international center for virtually every segment of the energy industry. It’s home to more than 4,700 energy-related firms, employs nearly a third of the nation’s jobs in oil and gas extraction, and boasts the world’s fourth-largest concentration of engineers. Houston’s economic vitality and growth is inextricably tied to the energy industry and depends on a strong STEM talent pool for the future.

The Energy Institute High School is uniquely positioned to build a lifelong foundation for those pursuing degrees and careers in the energy industry. The specialized high school prepares students for careers in the energy sector, as well as related fields such as environmental science and engineering, by providing a specialized learning experience centered around science, technology, engineering, and math. The Energy Institute High School integrates the energy theme into its entire STEM curriculum through a wide array of technology, hands-on projects, and experiential learning designed to inspire students and fuel continued interest in the energy field. And with up to 60% of students from economically disadvantaged backgrounds, the school plays a crucial role in fostering equal education opportunities and breaking down barriers to success that many students face.

“As principal of the first high school devoted to preparing students for careers in the energy field, my goal is to deliver extraordinary firsts in learning,” said Lori Lambropoulos, Principal of Energy Institute High School. “I am thrilled to be the leader of a school that is participating in a thematic approach to the school experience—mingling the exploration of energy careers with cutting-edge education.”

Over the years, the school has cultivated partnerships with local energy companies, organizations, and institutions—including HETI founding members bp, Chevron, ExxonMobil, and lyondellbasell—to provide students with real-world experiences and coveted industry connections. The Energy Institute High School works closely with an advisory board comprised of energy industry leaders and higher-education professionals to provide programs and enrichment opportunities for students, including:

  • A biweekly guest speaker series
  • University campus tours
  • Field trip sponsorships
  • Mentorship opportunities
  • College scholarships
  • Internships and externships

These partnerships have provided students from Energy Institute High School with invaluable networking opportunities and firsthand insights into the energy industry.

As the energy industry shifts toward a more efficient and sustainable, low-carbon future, graduates from the Energy Institute High School will play a vital role in accelerating the energy transition, not only in Houston, but across the world.

Learn more about Energy Institute High School and how you can support their mission through Friends of Energy Institute.

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This article originally ran on the Greater Houston Partnership's Houston Energy Transition Initiative blog. HETI exists to support Houston's future as an energy leader. For more information about the Houston Energy Transition Initiative, EnergyCapitalHTX's presenting sponsor, visit htxenergytransition.org.

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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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