hou knew?

Calling all energy startups, Amazon enters the DAC chat, and more things to know this week

Events not to miss, nomination deadline for awards program for innovative energy businesses, and more things to know this week. Photo via Getty Images

Editor's note: It's a new week — start it strong with three quick things to know in Houston's energy transition ecosystem. Submit an energy transition company to an awards program, read how Amazon entered the DAC conversation, and learn about events not to miss this week.

Houston Innovation Awards nominations coming to a close

Photo via Getty Images

If you haven't heard, EnergyCapital's sister site, InnovationMap, is accepting nominations for the 2023 Houston Innovation Awards. The deadline to submit is tomorrow, September 19, and there are several categories that might be of interest to the Houston energy transition ecosystem, such as:

  • Hardtech Business, honoring an innovative company developing and commercializing a physical technology
  • Digital Solutions Business, honoring an innovative company developing and programming a digital solution to a problem in an industry
  • Sustainability Business, honoring an innovative company providing a solution within renewables, climatetech, clean energy, alternative materials, circular economy, and beyond
  • Corporate of the Year, honoring a corporation that supports startups and/or the Houston innovation community
  • People's Choice: Startup of the Year, selected via an interactive voting portal during the event
Now, these are only a few categories this year. To submit a nomination and read more about the awards, click here.

Events to have on your radar

Photo courtesy of The Cannon

  • September 21 — The Rice Alliance Energy Tech Venture Forum is an opportunity to learn about the latest emerging technologies, meet investors to seek funding, see promising companies, and more. (Note: I'm moderating a panel about venture investment at 2 pm)
  • September 21 — UH Energy Symposium, a panel series, is hosting its next installment, entitled Plastics, Chemicals, Circularity: What's Next?
  • September 28 — Chevron Technology Ventures seeks to identify novel technologies and innovation systems that stand to transform and improve facility-focused operational efficiencies, via the Chevron Technology Ventures Pitch Competition. Six Houston companies will compete to win a tailored field trial opportunity with CTV experts, plus a six-month, complimentary, flexible-workspace membership at The Cannon.

Amazon makes investment in direct air capture by way of Houston-based Oxy

Photo via 1pointfive.com

Houston-based cleantech company 1PointFive is among the recipients of e-commerce giant Amazon’s first investments in carbon-fighting direct air capture (DAC).

Amazon has agreed to buy 250,000 metric tons of carbon removal credits from Stratos, 1PointFive’s first DAC plant, over a 10-year span. That commitment is equivalent to the amount of carbon stored naturally across more than 290,000 acres of U.S. forecasts, says Amazon.

As Amazon explains, DAC technology filters CO2 from the atmosphere and stores it in underground geological formations. Aside from being stored, removed carbon can be used to make building materials like bricks, cement, and concrete. Read more.

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A View From HETI

Boulder, Colorado-based ION Clean Energy announces it has raised $45 million in financing. Photo via Getty Images

Chevron New Energies has a new cleantech company in its portfolio.

Boulder, Colorado-based ION Clean Energy announces it has raised $45 million in financing. The round was led by Chevron New Energies with participation from New York-based Carbon Direct Capital. Founded in 2008, ION's carbon dioxide capture technologies lower costs and make CO2 capture a more viable option for hard-to-abate emissions.

“We have truly special solvent technology. It is capable of very high capture efficiency with low energy use while simultaneously being exceptionally resistant to degradation with virtually undetectable emissions. That’s a pretty powerful combination that sets us apart from the competition. The investments from Chevron and Carbon Direct Capital are a huge testament to the hard work of our team and the potential of our technology,” ION founder and Executive Chairman Buz Brown says in a news release. “We appreciate their collaboration and with their investments we expect to accelerate commercial deployment of our technology so that we can realize the kind of wide-ranging commercial and environmental impact we’ve long envisioned.”

The funding will go toward ION’s organizational growth and commercial deployment of its ICE-31 liquid amine carbon capture technology.

“We continue to make progress on our goal to deliver the full value chain of carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS) as a business, and we believe ION is a part of this solution. ION has consistent proof points in technology performance, recognition from the Department of Energy, partnerships with global brands, and a strong book of business that it brings to the relationship,” Chris Powers, vice president of CCUS and emerging with CNE, says in the release. “ION’s solvent technology, combined with Chevron’s assets and capabilities, has the potential to reach numerous emitters and support our ambitions of a lower carbon future. We believe collaborations like this are essential to our efforts to grow carbon capture on a global scale.”

With the new investment, the company announced that Timothy Vail will join the company as CEO. He previously was CEO of Arbor Renewable Gas and founder and CEO of G2X Energy Inc. He also serves as an Operating Partner for OGCI Climate Investments.

"With these investments, we are well positioned to grow ION into a worldwide provider of high-performance point source capture solutions,” Vail says. “This capital allows us to accelerate the commercial deployment of our carbon capture technology.”

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