Assemblymember Salas Celebrates $50 Million for New Energy Lab in Kern County

The 2022-23 State Budget includes direct funding for KCCD’s California Renewable Energy Laboratory

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BAKERSFIELD, CA – Assemblymember Rudy Salas (D-Bakersfield) presented the Kern Community College District (KCCD) with a ceremonial check for $50 million to establish the California Renewable Energy Laboratory (CREL). CREL will serve as a local hub for partnerships, research, workforce development, community education, and collaborative work. Salas was joined by KCCD Chancellor Sonya Christian, KCCD staff, students, and community members in celebration of this historic investment in local education and workforce development.

“I am thrilled to bring $50 million to help make Kern County the state’s leader in energy innovation and research,” said Assemblymember Salas. “KCCD’s California Renewable Energy Laboratory will bring together the best and brightest to create new, exciting jobs and opportunities for our local community. Kern CCD’s leadership in this emerging field will help our students compete and get good-paying jobs that can support their families now and well into the future.”

“Kern County is recognized as a leader in energy production and development, and it must remain so as our nation prioritizes investments in decarbonization, clean technology, renewable energy and climate resilience,” said Kern Community College District Chancellor Sonya Christian. “The California Renewable Energy Laboratory will be the nexus for industry, government, education and communities to stay connected to emerging research on clean technology and decarbonization and will provide the collaboration needed to create good jobs and pathways to them.”

The California Renewable Energy Laboratory will receive assistance from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in curriculum development, technical guidance, and project development. CREL will empower local public and private partnerships to ensure the long-term success of Kern County’s economy, its students, and communities. CREL will also serve as an important bridge in bringing together industry and researchers to develop emerging technologies, and to provide education to the broader community, from high-level overviews of energy production and technological advancements to curriculum, degrees, certificates and incumbent worker training.

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Assemblymember Salas represents part of the City of Bakersfield, the cities of Arvin, Hanford, Corcoran, Delano, Lemoore, McFarland, Shafter, Wasco, and the communities of Armona, Avenal, Buttonwillow, Home Garden, Kettleman City, Lamont, Lost Hills, Stratford and Weedpatch.