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Houston company breaks ground on North Texas solar project

A Houston company has started construction on a Waco-area solar farm. Photo courtesy of INEOS

A Houston-area company has broken ground on a new 310-megawatt solar project located in Bosque County, Texas.

League City-based INEOS Olefins & Polymers and Florida-based NextEra Energy Resources announced the groundbreaking on INEOS Hickerson Solar, which will reportedly save over 310,000 tons of CO2 every year.

“INEOS O&P USA is committed to leading the petrochemical community in adopting renewable energy solutions,” says CEO Mike Nagle in a news release. “This solar project is a crucial step in our global efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of INEOS businesses.”

The INEOS Hickerson Solar project will be constructed, owned and operated by a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Resources, and the output will aim to cover the net purchased electricity load for all 14 of INEOS O&P USA’s manufacturing, fractionation and storage facilities. Commercial operation is expected by December 2025.

The project is expected to produce 730,000 megawatt-hours of clean energy annually, which is the equivalent to the annual electricity use of over 68,000 homes. INEOS hopes this will significantly contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 310,000 tons per year.

This follows the recently signed renewable power purchase agreement with NextEra Energy Resources, which is the world's largest generator of renewable energy from wind and sun.

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A View From HETI

Nádia Skorupa Parachin joined Cemvita as vice president of industrial biotechnology. Photo courtesy of Cemvita

Houston-based biotech company Cemvita recently tapped two executives to help commercialize its sustainable fuel made from carbon waste.

Nádia Skorupa Parachin came aboard as vice president of industrial biotechnology, and Phil Garcia was promoted to vice president of commercialization.

Parachin most recently oversaw several projects at Boston-based biotech company Ginkjo Bioworks. She previously co-founded Brazilian biotech startup Integra Bioprocessos.

Parachin will lead the Cemvita team that’s developing technology for production of bio-manufactured oil.

“It’s a fantastic moment, as we’re poised to take our prototyping to the next level, and all under the innovative direction of our co-founder Tara Karimi,” Parachin says in a news release. “We will be bringing something truly remarkable to market and ensuring it’s cost-effective.”

Moji Karimi, co-founder and CEO of Cemvita, says the hiring of Parachin represents “the natural next step” toward commercializing the startup’s carbon-to-oil process.

“Her background prepared her to bring the best out of the scientists at the inflection point of commercialization — really bringing things to life,” says Moji Karimi, Tara’s brother.

Parachin joins Garcia on Cemvita’s executive team.

Before being promoted to vice president of commercialization, Garcia was the startup’s commercial director and business development manager. He has a background in engineering and business development.

Founded in 2017, Cemvita recently announced a breakthrough that enables production of large quantities of oil derived from carbon waste.

In 2023, United Airlines agreed to buy up to one billion gallons of sustainable aviation fuel from Cemvita’s first full-scale plant over the course of 20 years.

Cemvita’s investors include the UAV Sustainable Flight Fund, an investment arm of Chicago-based United; Oxy Low Carbon Ventures, an investment arm of Houston-based energy company Occidental Petroleum; and Japanese equipment and machinery manufacturer Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.

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