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Talos makes $1.3B acquisition, Sunnova's new tech partner, and more trending Houston news

Sunnova has a new partner — and more of the most-read articles on EnergyCapital from the week. Photo via Sunnova

Editor's note: From a new Houston energy transition exec to strategic partnerships and acquisitions, these are the top headlines that resonated with EnergyCapital readers on social media and daily newsletter this week.

New leadership team named climate tech-focused organization for Texas college students

David Pruner will lead the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy, known as TEX-E. Photo via LinkedIn

A collaborative initiative between several colleges and Greentown Labs has named its inaugural executive director.

David Pruner will lead the Texas Entrepreneurship Exchange for Energy, known as TEX-E, which is comprised of partners including Greentown Labs, MIT’s Martin Trust Center for Entrepreneurship, and universities across Texas. Additionally, Julia Johansson was appointed chief of staff for TEX-E and will oversee operations and administration responsibilities.

“Dave is the ideal leader for TEX-E to build on the great work that’s been done to develop a robust entrepreneurial energy ecosystem across these five impressive universities in Texas and to directly inspire and support university students to pursue entrepreneurial careers that will power our clean energy future,” Greentown Labs CEO and President Kevin Knobloch says in a news release. Continue reading.

Houston solar company taps new tech partner for energy management

Through the new partnership, Sunnova will fold the Lumin Smart Panel energy management platform into its Adaptive Home product. Images via luminsmart.com

Houston-based Sunnova Energy International, a provider of renewable energy for homes and businesses, has teamed up with Lumin, a maker of energy management technology, to roll out a new offering to homeowners.

Through the new partnership, Sunnova will fold the Lumin Smart Panel energy management platform into its Adaptive Home product. The partnership is scheduled to kick off in the first quarter of 2024.

Sunnova’s Adaptive Home combines solar power, battery storage, and smart energy management.Continue reading.

Houston energy company makes strategic acquisition in $1.29B deal

Talos, a technology-based energy company that aims to work towards low-carbon solutions, acquired QuarterNorth Energy Inc. Photo via talosenergy.com

Houston-based Talos Energy Inc. announced a $1.29 billion acquisition this month.

Talos, a technology-based energy company that aims to work towards low-carbon solutions, acquired QuarterNorth Energy Inc., which has ownership in several big offshore fields, and is a privately-held U.S. Gulf of Mexico exploration and production company. The acquisition of the assets are expected to provide additional scale from high quality deepwater assets “with a favorable base decline profile along with attractive future development opportunities” from QuarterNorth. Continue reading.

This Houston energy tech company to move the needle on building efficiency, air quality

After winning CodeLaunch last year, Matt Bonasera, enterprise architect at E360, looks forward to the future of the energy tech company. Photo by Natalie Harms/InnovationMap

Houston-based energy efficiency company Energy 360 is working to balance what is often viewed as a tradeoff between high quality clean air and energy efficiency within corporate buildings.

E360 is a subsidiary of InTech Energy, a software company that provides a variety of energy efficiency solutions for commercial spaces. The enterprise architect of E360, Matt Bonasera, says the platform functions as an energy management system as it monitors air quality, greenhouse gas emissions, and can adjust electricity usage among a host of other outputs.

“We are trying to holistically look at each building instead of just looking at it purely from the energy efficiency perspective or purely from looking at it from a health perspective,” Bonasera says. Continue reading.

Oxy's sustainability subsidiary announces DAC agreement with commodities group

Here's 1PoinFive's newest customer on its Texas CCUS project. Photo via 1pointfive.com

Oxy's carbon capture, utilization and sequestration company announced it's latest carbon dioxide removal credits purchasing agreement with a global commodities group.

Trafigura has agreed to purchase carbon dioxide removal credits to be produced from 1PointFive’s first industrial-scale Direct Air Capture facility, Stratos, that is being built in Texas. Continue reading.

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A View From HETI

Houston could have ranked higher on a global report of top cities in the world if it had a bit more business diversification. Photo via Getty Images

A new analysis positions the Energy Capital of the World as an economic dynamo, albeit a flawed one.

The recently released Oxford Economics Global Cities Index, which assesses the strengths and weaknesses of the world’s 1,000 largest cities, puts Houston at No. 25.

Houston ranks well for economics (No. 15) and human capital (No. 18), but ranks poorly for governance (No. 184), environment (No. 271), and quality of life (No. 298).

New York City appears at No. 1 on the index, followed by London; San Jose, California; Tokyo; and Paris. Dallas lands at No. 18 and Austin at No. 39.

In its Global Cities Index report, Oxford Economics says Houston’s status as “an international and vertically integrated hub for the oil and gas sector makes it an economic powerhouse. Most aspects of the industry — downstream, midstream, and upstream — are managed from here, including the major fuel refining and petrochemicals sectors.”

“And although the city has notable aerospace and logistics sectors and has diversified into other areas such as biomedical research and tech, its fortunes remain very much tied to oil and gas,” the report adds. “As such, its economic stability and growth lag other leading cities in the index.”

The report points out that Houston ranks highly in the human capital category thanks to the large number of corporate headquarters in the region. The Houston area is home to the headquarters of 26 Fortune 500 companies, including ExxonMobil, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, and Sysco.

Another contributor to Houston’s human capital ranking, the report says, is the presence of Rice University, the University of Houston and the Texas Medical Center.

“Despite this,” says the report, “it lacks the number of world-leading universities that other cities have, and only performs moderately in terms of the educational attainment of its residents.”

Slower-than-expected population growth and an aging population weaken Houston’s human capital score, the report says.

Meanwhile, Houston’s score for quality is life is hurt by a high level of income inequality, along with a low life expectancy compared with nearly half the 1,000 cities on the list, says the report.

Also in the quality-of-life bucket, the report underscores the region’s variety of arts, cultural, and recreational activities. But that’s offset by urban sprawl, traffic congestion, an underdeveloped public transportation system, decreased air quality, and high carbon emissions.

Furthermore, the report downgrades Houston’s environmental stature due to the risks of hurricanes and flooding.

“Undoubtedly, Houston is a leading business [center] that plays a key role in supporting the U.S. economy,” says the report, “but given its shortcomings in other categories, it will need to follow the path of some of its more well-rounded peers in order to move up in the rankings.”

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This article originally ran on InnovationMap.

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