Project Kicks Off Ambitious Plans for Future Kern County Energy Hub
Bakersfield, Calif. – Aera Energy, a leader in California energy production, announced today its first large-scale carbon capture and storage project (CCS), CarbonFrontier. Aera is harnessing CCS technology, which is backed by decades of science and has been successfully implemented in a number of well-studied situations, along with Kern County’s skilled workforce and infrastructure, to advance the project as part of a planned regional hub for future decarbonization efforts.
“The energy landscape is transforming, and Aera’s strategy is coexistence – ensuring Californians have the energy they need today as we work toward a lower carbon future,” said Aera Energy President and CEO Erik Bartsch. “This strategy matches the state’s ambitious policy objectives with our proven ability to bring innovative energy solutions on paper to operational realities in the field.”
The state’s plan for achieving carbon neutrality by 2045 calls for the adoption of CCS to reduce carbon emissions from industrial processes. Once operational in the late 2020s, CarbonFrontier will capture up to 1.6 million metric tons (MM Mt) of CO2 per year from Aera’s operations for permanent storage at its Belridge oil field, reducing Aera’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of 30,000 households. The state’s carbon capture and storage target is enormous, since its plan requires over 100 MM Mt of storage per year. A permit application was submitted earlier in 2023 to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
In addition to Aera’s commitment to safety, CarbonFrontier will be continuously monitored with oversight by local, state and federal regulatory entities, including the California Air Resources Board (CARB) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
Aera envisions CarbonFrontier as a cornerstone to developing a Kern County “carbon park,” potentially attracting other businesses that need storage to decarbonize their operations. This follows an Aera subsidiary being selected by the Department of Energy to study the feasibility of a direct air capture hub last month. These projects can create a transformative innovation center, where businesses come together to share mutual benefits. Essentially, an ecosystem of supply and storage with an opportunity to grow.
“Innovation is at the heart of our region’s future and projects like CarbonFrontier embody the transformation at the core of Kern County’s revitalization,” said California State University, Bakersfield President Lynnette Zelezny. “Aera’s investment in innovation and development of lower carbon energy will keep us as California’s energy hub and competitive on a global scale. We’re proud to have locally based Aera as a partner in shaping a brighter future for all of us.”
Aera is also actively engaged with community-based organizations and is committed to ongoing collaboration with Kern County residents, community partners and local businesses as the region’s economic and energy landscape evolves. Aera’s investment in projects like CarbonFrontier will generate essential job opportunities during the development phase and sustain employment in ongoing operations.
Read what others are saying about CarbonFrontier here.
Learn more about CarbonFrontier here.
Learn more about CCS here.