Kern County receives a grant for development of a Clean Energy and Carbon Management Business Park

May 5, 2022 /

Kern County has been awarded a Communities  Local Energy Action Program (LEAP) technical assistance grant by the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant will be used to develop a Clean Energy and Carbon Management Business Park.

Kern County will be the national Center of Excellence in new clean energy and carbon management industries and investments. The grant is set to help with technical assistance from the department of energy. They will fund their own teams to work on this new vision for a carbon management park.

The Clean Energy and Carbon Management Business Park will develop Carbon Capture which is taking CO2 and putting it in the ground. It’s an opportunity for Kern County to attract billions of dollars. Once it is in the ground it would be in the ground for good. This will help minimize the air pollution in Kern County.

“Kern County has led the way on energy development since the discovery of oil in the Kern River Field in 1899, the first wind energy in California in 1981 and the largest commercial solar project in the United States in Eastern Kern in 2011. Today, we continue to define and accelerate energy development for the future of California,”  said Supervisor Zack Scrivner.

The location for the park will use a 30 million square foot park on 4,000 acres of land combined with 30,000 acres of solar power.

The park will be located between West of Pixely and West of Tejon Ranch. There are a lot of oil fields in that area, and that is the location that will be taken into consideration. 

“We want to have a transferred economy in four years. We want to have this park up and running, we want those private investors, and we want those wall street investors to see Kern County as a Center for Excellence in Carbon Management,” said Lorelei Oviatt, Director of Planning and Natural Resources.

This will be an 18 month process with all the stakeholders involved looking at the different types of carbon management looking at what fits California and process the applications for carbon capture. 

By 2023 property owners will decide who will apply for this park. They will submit an application and what the plan will be. This Clean Energy and Carbon Management Business Park will be running by the end of 2024.

“This carbon management park can also be a catalyst to bring new types of water treatment that could clean up our water. We have 23 million acre feet of degraded water in the west side of this valley and we need water,” Lorelei Oviatt.

Kern County is set to have future jobs that will lead the globe with clean energy with 10,000 construction jobs and 4,000 permanent jobs; those would be high road jobs and good pay.

Cal State Bakersfield is also participating in carbon capture by starting a carbon capture sequestration seminar soon.

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Erica Murillo

Erica Murillo is a project coordinator and reporter at South Kern Sol. She was born in Bakersfield, California, and her origin is from Guanajuato, Mexico. She is a first-generation graduate from California State University, Bakersfield where she earned a degree in Liberal Studies with a minor in English. Murillo's first job was working in the fields picking grapes. She has been able to evolve and continue to grow within her career. She can be reached at