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Texas initiatives snag solar funding, CTV makes battery investment, and more top energy transition news

Hit the highlights of this week's top trending Houston energy transition news. Photo via Getty Images

Editor'snote: From a new Texas hydrogen R&D lab opening to the newest cleantech investment from Chevron, these are the top headlines that resonated with EnergyCapital readers on social media and daily newsletter this week.

Two Texas coalitions part of $7B solar power federal grant program

Texas Solar For All Coalition and Clean Energy Fund of Texas were two of the 60 recipients of the Solar for All grant competition. Photo via Getty Images

The Biden administration delivered an Earth Day gift with the news that 60 grantees will receive $7 billion in grant awards.

Texas Solar For All Coalition and Clean Energy Fund of Texas were two of the 60 recipients of the Solar for All grant competition. The awardees will provide solar energy to 900,000 low-income households in all 50 states. This is expected to generate an estimated 200,000 jobs as part of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Greenhouse Gas Reduction Fund, which includes $405,820,000 in Texas.

“President Biden’s clean energy plan is creating good-paying jobs, reducing emissions, and saving Americans money on their utility bills,” Climate Power Interim States Managing Director André Crombie says. Continue reading.

Texas lands in top 10 states expected to be most financially affected by weather events

Texas is expensive when it comes to weather events, a new report finds. Photo via Getty Images

Texas — home to everything from tornadoes to hurricanes — cracks the top 10 of a new report ranking states based on impact from weather-related events.

SmartAsset's new report factored in a myriad of data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to identify which states face the most financial risk due to various weather events. In the report, the states were ranked by the total expected annual financial losses per person. Texas ranked at No. 10.

"With a variety of environmental events affecting the wide stretch of the United States, each state is subject to its own risks," reads the report. Continue reading.

Eyeing demand growth, ERCOT calls for energy investments across Texas

ERCOT now estimates an extra 40,000 megawatts of growth in demand for electricity by 2030 compared with last year’s outlook. Photo via Getty Images

With the Electric Reliability Council of Texas forecasting a big spike in demand for electricity over the next five to seven years, the operator of Texas’ massive power grid is embracing changes that it says will yield a “tremendous opportunity” for energy investments across the state.

The council, known as ERCOT, now estimates an extra 40,000 megawatts of growth in demand for electricity by 2030 compared with last year’s outlook. According to ERCOT data, 40,000 megawatts of electricity would power roughly 8 million Texas homes during peak demand. Continue reading.

Texas hydrogen research hub opens to support statewide, DOE-backed initiative

The Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas, Frontier Energy, Inc., and GTI Energy celebrated the grand opening of a hydrogen research and demonstration facility in Austin. Photo via utexas.edu

A Texas school has cut the ribbon on a new hydrogen-focused research facility that will play a role in a statewide, Department of Energy-funded energy transition initiative.

The Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas, Frontier Energy, Inc., and GTI Energy celebrated the grand opening of a hydrogen research and demonstration facility in Austin as part of the “Demonstration and Framework for H2@Scale in Texas and Beyond” project, which is supported by the DOE's Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technologies Office. Continue reading.

Chevron, TotalEnergies back energy storage startup's $15.8M series A

LiNova will use the funds to advance its polymer cathode battery technology. Photo via Getty Images

A California startup that's revolutionizing polymer cathode battery technology has announced its series A round of funding with support from Houston-based energy transition leaders.

LiNova Energy Inc. closed a $15.8 million series A round led by Catalus Capital. Saft, a subsidiary of TotalEnergies, which has its US HQ in Houston, and Houston-based Chevron Technology Ventures, also participated in the round with a coalition of other investors. Continue reading.

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A View From HETI

Honeywell launched the Battery Manufacturing Excellence Platform, or Battery MXP. Photo via honeywell.com

As the world continues to electrify, new optimized battery technology is critical, and Honeywell, which has a unit of its business based in Houston, recognizes that.

Honeywell (NASDAQ: HON) launched the Battery Manufacturing Excellence Platform, or Battery MXP, an artificial intelligence-powered software solution that will improve battery cell yields and, by extension, operation of gigafactories for manufacturers.

"With Honeywell's Battery MXP and its automation capabilities, we will be able to quickly and effectively establish a foundation for our network of gigafactories," John Kem, president of American Battery Factory, says in a statement. "This solution is vital in our manufacturing operation because it allows us to reduce scrap and scale up quickly, while also ensuring we meet the U.S. and international demand for high quality lithium iron phosphate batteries as we prepare for the unprecedented surge expected over the next decade."

The AI technology built into the platform can detect and remediate quality issues, preventing scrapped or wasted material. Per the news release, the platform can reduce startup material scrap rates by 60 percent.

"The electrification of everyday life continues to increase global demand for quality lithium-ion batteries to power electric vehicles, consumer electronics and battery energy storage systems," Pramesh Maheshwari, president of Honeywell Process Solutions, adds. "With the construction of more than 400 gigafactories planned worldwide by 2030, Honeywell's Battery MXP is a crucial technology that enables manufacturers to maximize cell yields and reach peak production much quicker than traditional methods."

Battery MXP can provide real-time information from raw material sage to finished product. The platform additionally creates enhanced safety measures.

Last month, Weatherford and Honeywell announced the partnership that will combine Honeywell's emissions management suite with Weatherford's technology.

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