Google contracts close to 1 GW of solar power in Texas



► Four solar farm projects located in Milan and Lamar counties collectively willgenerate nearly 1.2 Gigawatts of electricity annually once completed in 2024. Energy Global LLC announced that Google has entered into a solar power purchase agreement to buy almost 1 million MW of power, about 75% of the future output of the projects. Read more.

► BP announced it will pay $4.1 billion for Houston-based Archaea Energy, a renewable energy company that harnesses natural gas emissions from landfills and farms. The company uses a collection of machines and pipes to capture the natural gas that is emitted from the landfill’s trash. Read more.

► Texas A&M AgriLife displayed their turfgrass research at field day, October 12, 2022. Addressing the lawn, golf, sports field, and sod industries, the research seeks to find varieties with high tolerance for heat and low need for irrigation, to name two of the major goals. The field day drew more than 250 participants, showcasing the latest research and fieldwork by Texas A&M AgriLife Research and the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service, which also included demonstrations and industry vendors. Read more.

► Texas firm Hover has come up with a “Wind-Powered Microgrid™” rooftop combination system that packages solar panels and an energy storage element along with a vertical axis wind turbines, an innovative aerodynamic design uses the building as a sail to delivers commercial scale power. A solar photovoltaic array installed in the center of the roof complements the turbine array, generating power during daylight hours. The energy captured by both sources is directed to Hover’s Integrated Energy Management System where the energy is converted into 3-phase AC power, directly linked to the building management system. Read more.

► UTA Professor of Civil Engineering Maria Konsta-Gdoutos received a $1.5 million grant from DOE to lead an international consortium to decarbonize concrete production and promote its use as a renewable energy generator. Worldwide concrete production is a big contributor to greenhouse gases, as much as 9% of total output. The novel re-engineered concrete, dubbed TE-CO2NCRETE, will be used to capture and store athmospheric carbon dioxide as well thermal energy. Consortium stakeholder include the Portland Cement Company and the American Concrete Institute as well as international academic institutions. Read more.

► Pipeline operator Enlink Midstream LLC signed a deal with Exxon Mobil involving carbon capture utilizing underused conduits the company owns along the Louisiana coast. Carbon capture and storage, or CCS as the technology is known, is being touted as an increasingly promising alternative for U.S. pipeline companies as they look at ways to repurpose their network of fossil-fuel conduits. Read more.

► A landfill solar project in the Sunnyside neighborhood of Houston will create a 52-megawatt solar farm, one of the biggest in the country when completed. Solar farms built on top of inactive landfills can be funded through the country’s infrastructure bill and might prove to be economic development opportunities for neighborhoods and locales of shuttered landfills. Read more.


► Louisiana secures $320 million from the 2021 federal Infrastructure act to grow lithium-ion battery-related production at two facilities as it aims to build a stake in the electric vehicle supply chain industry. Additional investment will be provided by Syrah Technologies ($225 M) for their facility in Vidalia LA, and Koura Corp ($307 M) for their facility in St. Gabriel LA. The total investment of nearly $1 billion will elevate the state’s footprint in the electric vehicle supply chain and other consumer electronics, and add a combined 300 new jobs. Read more.

► Experts at Louisiana Oil & Gas Exposition’s Energy Fest 2022 predict a bright future for the state’s oil and natural gas industries due to technology developments and the chemical manufacturing industry’s needs for energy. Mark Zappi, professor of chemical engineering at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and executive director of the Energy Institute of Louisiana, said in his talk entitled “Fifty Shades of Green” that the state’s chemical manufacturers are heavily reliant on non-renewable energy sources and will remain so, likely for decades. The federal Energy Information Agency has indicated the oil and gas industries should stay strong for another 30 years. Read more.

► Louisiana governmental, academic, and business organizations are poised and preparing for Gulf of Mexico offshore wind opportunities. The US federal goal of 30 gigawatts of wind power by 2030 is stimulating the marketplace to address workforce and infrastructure needs of the industry. A collaboration by Gulf Wind Technology, a company that specializes in complex wind conditions as in the Gulf, with the GNO Wind Alliance, the University of New Orleans’ newly created Louisiana Wind Energy Hub, and others offers to build a blueprint for the future of wind energy in Louisiana. Read more.

► Alabama, Louisiana, and Texas are among nine states electing regulatory commissions with power to direct energy policy in their respective states (other states appoint, rather than elect, utility commissioners). Commissions set the direction of energy policy in their respective states, and all nine elected commissions currently have Republican majorities and tend to favor traditional energy technologies. Read more.


► State awards $180 million in matching American Rescue Plan Act funds to more than 130 projects: $93 million for 76 wastewater projects, $47 million for 36 drinking water projects, and $35 million for 18 storm water projects. Included in these awards is $35.6 million for the capital of Jackson, which is experiencing longstanding drinking water challenges. Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality is administering the match program known as the Municipality & County Water Infrastructure Grant Program, or MCWI. Read more.

► The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality awards $7.3 million from the 2016 Volkswagen settlement for projects to reduce emissions, with $5.4 million for the purchase of 42 lower-emitting diesel buses, 12 electric buses and 10 charging stations. Read more.

► The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality highlights coordinated efforts, announces $65 million in new BP spending. State has to date obligated over $800 million of the $2 billion settlement and presented a plan for future projects. Projects include marsh restoration, improvements to drinking water supplies, oyster beds repopulation, ecosystem education, workforce training, and infrastructure improvements. Read more.


► Alabama Power plans to close the Gadsden Steam coal-fired power plant, its oldest (109-year-old), in January 2023. Read more.

► Hyundai Mobis announces it will build a $205 million electric vehicle battery plant next to an existing Hyundai factory in Montgomery that will eventually employ 400 people. Read more.

► The Alabama Electric Authority marked the completion of the 130 MW Black Bear Solar project, one of Alabama’s largest solar farms that will bring sustainable energy to AMEA’s 11 municipal utilities. The project was built with solar panels manufactured by Arizona-based First Solar, solar trackers manufactured by New Mexico-based Array Technologies and foundational piles manufactured by Mississippi-based Attala Steel. More than 400 people were employed during construction. Read more.

► Li-Cycle Corp opened a 220,000 square foot battery recycling facility in Tuscaloosa, its fourth in North America. The company uses an environmentally friendly technology to recycle EV battery packs without dismantling through a process that produces no wastewater. The new battery recycling facility is 100,000 square feet, with another 120,000 square feet of warehouse space, with an annual processing capacity of 10,000 tonnes of lithium-ion battery material. Read more.

VLS opens non-hazardous waste processing facility in Hockley, Texas


VLS Environmental Solutions, LLC, a leading provider of environmental solutions that helps businesses achieve their sustainability goals, today announced the opening of a waste processing facility in Hockley, Texas.

The facility will provide processing of non-hazardous wastes with solutions such as waste-to-energy, solidification, recycling, and engineered fuel services and will service organizations from the Southwest to the West Coast.

“We are excited about expanding our waste services and solutions with the Houston waste facility,” said John Magee, President and CEO. “We continue to grow through grass roots facilities to provide our clients with nationwide services and to help them meet their sustainability goals.”

As a company this brings VLS’ facilities to 32 adding to their mission of delivering innovative environmental solutions.

“We believe with the waste processing facility in Houston, we can continue providing industry-leading service to our clients in the Southwest but also provide the same level of service to our clients on the West Coast including California, ” said Keith Cordesman, Vice President of Waste Services Division.

“Safety is our top core value, and our facility will have state-of-the-art safety processes and procedures that ensure we uphold our top core value,” said Alex Polhemus, Vice President of EH&S.VLS held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Wednesday, Nov. 9, at the new facility located at 17360 Premium Drive, Hockley, Texas. VLS welcomed the community and organizations for the opening.

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