shine on

Mayor greenlights major solar farm project in south Houston

Keep your eyes out for a new solar farm that will be constructed in Sunnyside in south Houston. Photo via Getty Images

Mayor Sylvester Turner and the city council have given the green light on a project that will convert a 240-acre former landfill in Sunnyside into a brownfield solar installation.

The public-private partnership with Sunnyside Energy LLC. received unanimous approval on a lease agreement that will move the project — which is a part of the City's Climate Action Plan and Complete Communities Initiative — forward.

"The Sunnyside landfill has been one of Houston's biggest community challenges for decades, and I am proud we are one step closer to its transformation," says Mayor Turner in a news release. "I thank the Sunnyside community because this project would not have come together without its support. This project is an example of how cities can work with the community to address long-standing environmental justice concerns holistically, create green jobs and generate renewable energy in the process."

The solar field, which is anticipated to be installed and working by the end of next year, will be able to power 5,000 homes and offset 120 million pounds of CO2 each year, according to the release.

"We applaud the actions of Mayor Turner and the City Council in taking this significant step," says Dori Wolfe, managing director of Sunnyside Energy LLC, in the release. "It is a strong vote of confidence for this impactful project. All members of the project team realize that this Sunnyside Solar facility will be an iconic statement in the rejuvenation of the community. We are grateful that Mayor Turner has given us his support."

The city's involvement with the company began in 2017 when Houston joined the C40 Reinventing Cities Competition – a global competition to promote sustainable energy projects. As a part of the competition and through the city's efforts on the initiative, powers at be selected the winning proposal from Wolfe Energy LLC, which formed Sunnyside Energy LLC to execute the urban solar farm project.

Per the lease agreement, the city of Houston owns the land and Sunnyside Energy will be the tenant responsible for permitting, construction, operation, and more.

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Building Houston

 
 

Houston-based Soliton, which has created a technology that uses sound to treat cellulite and scars, has been acquired. Photo via soliton.com

A California company has acquired Houston-based Soliton as well as its innovative device that uses sound to eliminate cellulite.

Allergan Aesthetics, an AbbVie company, has announced an agreement to acquire Soliton and its rapid acoustic pulse device RESONICTM, which recently received U.S. Food and Drug Administration clearance for the treatment of cellulite.

The company's team first developed the basis of the tool for tattoo removal and earned FDA clearance for that treatment a few years ago. Christopher Capelli and Walter Klemp co-founded Soliton in 2012.

The acquisition will take Soliton's technology to the next level, says Klemp, who serves as the company's executive chairman.

"Allergan Aesthetics' brand recognition, global footprint, track record and commitment to developing best-in-class aesthetic treatments makes the Company ideally suited to maximize the commercial potential of the RESONICTM rapid acoustic pulse technology," Klemp says in the release.

"I am proud of the passion and accomplishments of the Soliton team and thankful for the ongoing support of our investors which have culminated in this transaction," he continues. "We look forward to working with Allergan Aesthetics to ensure a successful completion of this transaction."

For Carrie Strom, president of Global Allergan Aesthetics and senior vice president at AbbVie, Soliton's solution has a great potential in the market. Soliton's clinical trial data that was submitted to the FDA showed that after a single treatment session, RESONICTM demonstrated significant improvement and strong patient satisfaction with 92.9 percent of subjects agreeing or strongly agreeing their cellulite appeared improved, per the release.

"There is a huge unmet need to address cellulite and effective treatments have been elusive and frustrating for consumers," Strom says in the release. "Soliton's technology offers a new, completely non-invasive approach with clinically-proven results to reduce the appearance of cellulite with no patient downtime.

"The addition of this technology complements Allergan Aesthetics' portfolio of body contouring treatments," she continues. "Health care providers will now have another option to address consumers' aesthetic concerns."

Brad Hauser, CEO of Soliton, previously told InnovationMap that the company's plans for 2021 included focusing on the commercialization of their product and get it into the hands of dermatologists, plastic surgeons, and other medical professionals for 25 key accounts — potentially including ones Houston — with a plan for a national rollout in 2022.

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