Aera Energy makes major endowment investment in CSU Bakersfield

The endowment will support energy research projects at the university.

Aera Energy announced Tuesday that it is making a $2.5 million investment in California State University, Bakersfield to continue energy research. 

The local energy company is endowing the Executive Director for Energy Research position at the California Energy Research Center at CSU Bakersfield. 


The big picture: In the announcement, Aera said the Executive Director for Energy Research will help focus and enrich the science produced by CSU Bakersfield professors and students. 

  • The position will help connect forward-thinking innovators in Kern County with local, regional and global industry to identify solutions for a new energy future. 
  • Aera has donated $3.4 million to CSU Bakersfield since 1997, supporting various programs such the Environmental Resource Management degree program. 

What they’re saying: CSUB President Lynette Zelezny thanked Aera for supporting the university. 

  • “With the establishment of the Executive Director for Energy Research at California State University, Bakersfield, the entire region should feel an immense sense of pride that we will remain the energy capital of the West Coast for generations to come,” Zelezny said. “With Aera’s trusted partnership, CSU Bakersfield will launch a new era for science and research, creating unprecedented opportunities for our students and placing Kern County at the epicenter of energy and innovation.” 
  • Aera CEO Erik Bartsch said the company is proud to partner with CSU Bakersfield. 
  • “Aera’s goal in collaboration with CSUB and others is to bring the community together on our energy future, to help ensure our energy workforce is prepared for success, and support Kern County to be positioned as a thought-leader in the state’s energy transformation,” Bartsch said.
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