seeing green

Houston company raises $138M for next-generation geothermal energy

The future of geothermal energy is here — and just got a big payday. Photo via Getty Images

Houston-based startup Fervo Energy has picked up $138 million in funding to propel its creation and operation of carbon-free power plants fueled by geothermal energy.

Fervos says the series C round will help it complete power plants in Nevada and Utah and evaluate new projects in California, Idaho, Oregon, Colorado, and New Mexico, as well as in other countries.

California-based investment firm DCVC led the round, with participation from six new investors:

  • Canada Pension Plan Investment Board (CPP Investments), which contributed $20 million to the round
  • Liberty Energy
  • Macquarie
  • Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment
  • Impact Science Ventures
  • Prelude Ventures

These six existing investors also chipped in money:

  • Capricorn’s Technology Impact Fund
  • Breakthrough Energy Ventures, led by Microsoft billionaire Bill Gates
  • Congruent Ventures
  • 3X5 Partners
  • Helmerich & Payne
  • Elemental Excelerator

Since being founded in 2017, Fervo has amassed $177 million in funding, according to Crunchbase. The company employs 30 people.

Equipped with technology such as horizontal drilling and fiber-optic sensing, Fervo is tapping into reservoirs of hot rock beneath the earth’s surface to produce clean geothermal power.

“Power buyers are interested in geothermal power because they are actively looking for reliable energy sources that can address climate change and rising energy prices,” Tim Latimer, CEO of Fervo, says in a news release. “Our mission is to meet that growing demand by putting gigawatts of 24/7 carbon-free energy on the grid. This latest investment enables us to execute on those ambitious plans.”

In 2021, Fervo announced the world’s first corporate agreement to develop geothermal — a project to power Google’s data centers in Nevada. Also, the company recently signed a purchase agreement with East Bay Community Energy, a California-based provider of clean energy.

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, geothermal holds the potential to power tens of millions of American homes and businesses. In 2021, geothermal represented about 0.4 percent of total U.S. electricity generation and about 2 percent of electricity generation from renewable energy, the U.S. Energy Information Administration says.

“Fervo is the right company at the right time,” says Matt Trevithick, a partner at DCVC. “The United States needs 200 [gigawatts] of reliable clean power to achieve a zero-carbon electricity grid. Fervo is poised to make geothermal as important as solar and wind to our energy future.”

Fervo’s partners include Houston-based Schlumberger, the federal Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E), and the federal Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

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Building Houston

 
 

Calling all Houston innovators — now's your time to shine. Graphic by Naomi Galvez

Update: The deadline for nominations have been extended to midnight on Sunday, October 2.

InnovationMap is back to honor local startups and innovators — and this time, we've upped the ante.

Houston Exponential and InnovationMap have teamed up to combine their annual awards and event efforts to premiere a brand new program. The Houston Innovation Awards Gala on Wednesday, November 9, at The Ion will be a comprehensive event honoring Houston founders, innovators, investors, and more. InnovationMap and HX, which was acquired earlier this year, are in the same network of ownership.

Nominations are open online until midnight October 2, and nominees will have until October 11 to complete an additional application that will be emailed to nominees directly. A group of industry experts and Houston innovation leaders will review those submissions and determine finalists and winners across 11 categories. The categories for this year's awards are:

  • BIPOC-Owned Business honoring an innovative company founded or co-founded by BIPOC representation
  • Female-Owned Business honoring an innovative company founded or co-founded by a woman
  • Hardtech Business honoring an innovative company developing and commercializing a physical technology across life science, energy, space, and beyond
  • B2B Software Business honoring an innovative company developing and programming a digital solution to impact the business sector
  • Green Impact Business honoring an innovative company providing a solution within renewables, climatetech, clean energy, alternative materials, and beyond
  • Smart City Business honoring an innovative company providing a tech solution within transportation, infrastructure, data, and beyond
  • New to Hou honoring an innovative company, accelerator, or investor that has relocated its primary operations to Houston within the past three years
  • DEI Champion honoring an individual who is leading impactful diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives and progress within Houston and their organization
  • Investor of the Year honoring an individual who is leading venture capital or angel investing
  • Mentor of the Year honoring an individual who dedicates their time and expertise to guide and support to budding entrepreneurs
  • People's Choice: Startup of the Year selected via an interactive voting portal during of the event
Nominees can be submitted to multiple categories.

Additionally, the awards gala will honor an innovator who's made a lasting impact on the Houston innovation community. While you may nominate an individual for the Trailblazer Award via the online form, the judging committee will not require applications or nominations for this category and will be considering potential honorees from the ecosystem at large. If you are interested in sponsorship opportunities, please reach out to cbuckner@houstonexponential.org.

Last year, InnovationMap introduced its awards program and named 28 finalists and honored the nine winners on September 8. Click here to see more from last year's event.

Tickets for the November 9 event are available online. Early bird tickets will be $60 per person and startup founders will be able to attend for $25.

Click here to submit a nomination or see form below.


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