KERN COUNTY, Calif. (KERO) — Kern County is working on a carbon management business park that could clean the air we breathe in the Central Valley.
With high levels of carbon dioxide or CO2 in our air impacting climate change, scientists have been trying to figure out how to reduce those effects. One way proposed is carbon storage.
This image from The Nature Conservancy shows the 101 of carbon storage. It essentially vacuums the CO2 in the air, buries it into the ground, then it is usually transported through pipelines to another destination and stored underground.
There were no blueprints to show off what the park will exactly look like, however, the proposed location is on the west side of the Valley, on land that is no longer suited for farming.
The county is getting help from the U.S. Department of Energy of Communities through technical assistance for this project which will take up a big chunk of land.
"So those lands next to the oil field, are the place where we would like to have property owners consider putting this business park and then we are going to need 30,000 acres of solar or more to power it," said Lorelei Oviatt, Director of Planning and Natural Resources.
They are still in the early stages of this plan.
For the next 18 months, they will be looking at the environmental reports, different types of carbon management technologies available, and will work to get the permits for the carbon capture.
The project is expected to be done closer to the end of 2024. In the meantime, they hope it creates more jobs.
"This can produce as much as 10,000 construction jobs, and 4,000 permanent jobs. Those would be high roads job with good pay and good benefits because you are talking about industrial projects," said Oviatt.
It is important to note the 10,000 jobs for the solar panels are usually temporary while they are being built.
The director of planning says they will reach out to neighborhoods, environmental groups, and state boards to also get their input.
The projects they are looking at could store about 78 million tons of CO2.