Southern California Gas. Co. (SoCalGas) recently opened up a new net-zero-energy building in Bakersfield that will host not only the utility’s regional base but also a public-access compressed natural gas (CNG) refueling station.
The 31,000-square-foot building is located at 35118 McMurtrey Ave. near the connection of Highways 99 and 65. It includes an employee training facility and customer demonstration center, plus a separate storage building, garage, solar photovoltaic energy system, and CNG fueling station for company and public use. Opening in the fall, the station will dispense 100% renewable natural gas.
“One of my favorite things about this new facility is that it will have a renewable natural gas fueling station for trucks traveling Highways 99 and 65,” says David Couch, Kern County supervisor (District 4) and a member of the governing board of the San Joaquin Valley Air Pollution Control District. “Using renewable natural gas – more and more of which will be created in the San Joaquin Valley – helps not only reduce methane emissions from agriculture, dairy and other sources, but will improve air quality and the health of people in Kern County.”
The building has earned Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold Certification by the United States Green Building Council for its environmental benefits, which also include storm water management, drought-resistant and climate-appropriate landscaping, the use of natural lighting, and a super energy-efficient air conditioning system powered by natural gas.
“This new LEED-certified building is designed to be net-zero energy, meaning the total energy used by the building will be roughly equal to the amount of renewable energy created on the site from its photovoltaic energy system,” explains Estela de Llanos, vice president of operations support and sustainability and chief environmental officer at SoCalGas. “In addition, the new facility’s customer demonstration center will exhibit some of the many emerging gas technologies, created with SoCalGas support, that deliver meaningful greenhouse-gas emissions reductions.”