Company shares new digs, Rice researches small-scale carbon capture and more top articles in Houston energy
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 a a small-scale carbon capture device being designed by Rice University researchers, a renewable energy company's new Houston office, ExxonMobil's official Houston HQ news, and more.
Peng Zhu (left) and Haotian Wang developed a carbon-capture device prototype. Photos courtesy Jeff Fitlow/Rice University
A Rice University lab has developed an efficient, scalable way to capture carbon dioxide — and it just needs to be plugged into a power outlet to work.
The new technology developed in the lab of chemical and biomolecular engineer Haotian Wang, the William Marsh Rice Trustee Chair and an associate professor at Rice, uses electricity to remove carbon dioxide from air capture to induce a water-and-oxygen-based electrochemical reaction. The findings were shared in a study published in Nature last month.
Traditionally, carbon capture requires very energy intensive processes that need high temperatures and for the carbon that's been captured to be regenerated. The process also often requires large-scale infrastructure.
In the Wang lab's method, the small reactor can continuously remove carbon dioxide from a simulated flue gas with nearly 100 percent efficiency, generating between 10 to 25 liters of high-purity carbon using only the power of a standard lightbulb, according to a statement from Rice. Continue reading.
Pattern Energy, a California-based company with over 150 employees in Houston, revealed its new local office space. Photo courtesy Pattern Energy
A company that's developing renewable energy projects has officially opened their new Houston office that will house its 150-person local development team.
Pattern Energy Group LP, headquartered in San Francisco, has moved its Houston operations into the Montrose Collective at 888 Westheimer Road. The new mixed-use complex developed by Radom Capital is home to restaurants, spas, and other retailers.
"We are doubling down on our commitment to Houston with an innovative new office that is designed to foster the collaborative nature of our work to develop some of America's most ambitious clean power projects," says Hunter Armistead, CEO of Pattern Energy, in a June news release. "Leveraging Houston's top-notch energy workforce has been an important component of our success and we look forward to tapping the City's talent base for our continued growth. Continue reading.
ExxonMobil is officially HQ-ed in Houston — according to a recent SEC filing. Photo via ExxonMobil.com
As of this month, ExxonMobil's headquarters is officially Houston, according to a recent filing.
ExxonMobil's company page on the United States Securities and Exchange Commission now lists its new Houston-area address — 22777 Springwoods Village Parkway in Spring. While the ExxonMobil's site still lists it's Irving, Texas, address, the SEC filing dated July 5 marks a significant step toward the HQ move that Exxon originally announced in early 2022.
In the initial announcement, the company disclosed that the move, which will combine its chemical and refining divisions, will be completed by 2023. ExxonMobil’s Spring office was opened by former CEO Rex Tillerson in 2014. Continue reading.
Houston-based Rhythm Energy CEO and founder, PJ Popovic, discusses the landscape of Texas' energy market and how renewables should be incorporated. Photo courtesy of Rhythm
After experiencing the hottest day on record this past Fourth of July, PJ Popovic — CEO and founder of green energy retailer Rhythm Energy — explained what extreme temperatures like these mean for Texas’ energy market and the role renewables will play in addressing increased demand response.
Headquartered in Houston, Rhythm Energy launched two years ago and offers a variety of 100 percent renewable energy backed plans, from wind to solar. Popovic discussed with EnergyCapital where he thinks renewables fit into Texas’ energy consumption and grid reliability issues in an interview. Continue reading.
The United States Department of Energy is doling out over $200 million for grid improvements — and one of the largest portions will be coming to Texas. Photo via Getty Images
Texas is getting $60.6 million in federal grants to bolster the state’s frequently taxed power grid.
The funding, announced July 6 by the U.S. Department of Energy, totals over $200 million to be distributed across the country. The Lone Star State's chunk will be earmarked for pinpointing gaps in the grid’s dependability and reducing weather-related grid disruptions. The Texas Division of Energy Management will decide how to dole out the money.
“By itself, is $60 million going to be determinative to make our grid reliable? Of course not,” Doug Lewin, president of Austin-based energy consulting firm Stoic Energy, tells the Austin American-Statesman. “It’ll cost more than that, but every bit counts, and $60 million is not a small amount of money, so [the state] could probably do a lot of good with that.” Continue reading.