$100M Scannell Warehouse Project Seeks Local Contractors

With the Fresno City Council’s final approval Feb. 22 of the $100 million, 900,000 square-foot foot warehouse development by Scannell Properties, it’s time to start learning about bid opportunities.

The Fresno County Economic Development Corp. is hosting a bidders webinar for local contractors Friday, March 15 at 2 p.m. Valencia-based general contractor on the project Storie and Severson Construction will take part.

Nearly two dozen specialty areas are being sought, including asphalt paving, concrete (large scale site and tilt-up), cubs, electrical, HVAC, plumbing and roofing.

Contactors will also be able to learn about local pre-apprenticeship program.

Located off Marks Avenue just north of Highway 180, the speculative project by the national developer is expected to create up to 1,000 long-term industrial jobs and employ 1,000 construction workers.


Massive shipping terminal nears completion in Visalia

VISALIA – Visalia is establishing itself as a core shipping hub in California, as evidenced by a 1-million-square-foot shipping facility on track for completion in June.

Bob O’Neill, the senior vice president of acquisitions for industrial real estate agency CapRock Partners, told The Sun-Gazette that Visalia is perfectly situated for shipping. CapRock is the agency responsible for the construction of the new facility.

“One thing we like about Visalia is its central location,” O’Neill said. “It is one of the only locations where a truck driver can do a one-day turnaround within their eight-hour shift.”

O’Neill explained that the two major ports in California are Long Beach and the Bay Area, both of which can be reached from Visalia.

“Corporate occupiers like it because they can play the shipping lines and ports off of each other and have diversification and pricing power,” O’Neill said. “It is also a location that can service over 50 million people in the western U.S. That is something that is very attractive to us and the tenants we attract.”

The current buildout is just the beginning of CapRock’s investment. The property will ultimately bring more than 5 million square feet of warehouse space. The project is staggered, so once a tenant is occupying the first building, the next building will begin construction.

“It is a long-term commitment,” O’Neill said. “We really like working with the city, we believe in the region; so these are long-term investments for us.”

O’Neill said that the city has been helpful in navigating the permitting process and has been highly supportive throughout the project. CapRock first began investing in construction projects in Visalia in 2017. O’Neill said the biggest challenges up to this point have been the market timing.

“The biggest challenges have been navigating inflation which has caused significant construction cost increases and significant increases in financing costs for our construction loan,” O’Neill said. “We have been able to work through those and find a window in time that has enabled us to move forward with this project and deliver it this summer.”

A tenant has not yet been identified for the current space, but O’Neill said he anticipates a Fortune 500 corporation to occupy the property. CapRock has received “very preliminary” inquiries, according to O’Neill.

Depending on the occupant, O’Neill believes the project could employ anywhere from 300 to over 1,000 people. While the building is expected to be some type of shipping hub, O’Neill said similar buildings have been used for light manufacturing and assembly.

Companies such as Tesla frequently occupy large warehouse buildings to construct solar chargers and battery stations, which are then shipped to locations where they are installed.

“We build our facilities to be flexible in terms of what kinds of tenants can occupy them,” O’Neill said. “One of the types of tenants that we have fielded inquiries from in other markets has been the manufacturing type, with some assembly, and also a component of distribution.”

The building currently has the walls up and the roof finished. O’Neill said the next phase of the project will be paint, which he said will happen soon. At that point, O’Neill anticipates rapid increases in interest from tenants who can see the light at the end of the tunnel for the project.

Two other developments, known as CapRock Central Point 1 and 2, were completed in 2021. The shipping hub is located at 4001 Plaza Drive, which offers easy access to freeways, rail lines and airports. The building is expected to be completed in June.


Renewable energy projects near Rosamond would generate 1,700 construction jobs

Eastern Kern’s renewable energy portfolio would add three large installations producing more than 1,700 construction jobs by the end of this year if the county Board of Supervisors approves the West Coast’s first micro steel mill and two photovoltaic solar developments with power storage set for review Tuesday.

The separate developments, all proposed to be built in the Mojave-Rosamond area, are part of what Director Lorelei Oviatt of Kern’s Planning and Natural Resources Department called the “new future,” in that all three represent clean energy alternatives to conventional industrial models.

By far the smallest of the three projects, San Diego-based Pacific Steel Group’s Mojave Micro Mill on undeveloped land southeast of Highway 14 and Sopp Road, would create the most jobs, employing 417 hourly and salaried workers, plus 23 third-party positions for duties like security.

The plant would run 24 hours per day, seven days weekly, turning scrap metal and raw material into rebar for use in construction mostly in Southern California, with some of the product going to Northern California and some to Mexico.

Carbon capture would be a novel aspect of the project: The 174-acre site would include a system for compressing, dehydrating and purifying carbon dioxide that would be stored on-site and ultimately hauled by truck to a site yet to be identified.

At least some of the power to run the operation, consisting mainly of a 489,200-square-foot steel mill, would come from a 63-acre photovoltaic solar array that would be part of the project. It would also be fueled by petroleum coke or biocarbon.

The board’s approval, as proposed, would entail certifying an environmental review that identified significant and unavoidable impacts to aesthetics, air quality and noise. Supervisors will also be asked to approve a series of conditional use permits and zone variances.

County staff have called for the developer to pay $100,000 for CO2 response equipment and training for the Kern County Fire Department and local fire stations.

If approved, construction would be expected to start in the third quarter of this year; the operation would launch in the second quarter of 2026. At peak construction, the project would employ up to 515 construction workers at once.

The larger of the two photovoltaic projects under consideration is a 600-megawatt plant with 4,000 megawatt-hours of battery energy storage proposed by Enterprise Solar Storage LLC, part of Terra-Gen, which is owned by New Jersey-based Energy Capital Partners.

The project is proposed to be built over 28 months on 2,320 acres of mostly undeveloped land south of Highway 58 and west of Highway 14.

As with the other solar project, it would involve putting up an array of solar panels, an electrical collector system, inverters, battery storage, a substation, transmission infrastructure, communication towers, access roads and security.

Both projects would require the board to certify the respective environmental reviews, zoning changes and conditional use permits. In the Terra-Gen plant’s case, construction would take 28 months of construction averaging 250 people per day, with a peak workforce of 550 workers. The eventual operation would be expected to employ six people on a full-time basis.

The other solar project, called Bullhead Solar, would generate 270 megawatts and offer 1,080 megawatt-hours of battery storage on 1,343 acres of undeveloped, some of it farmland and some grazing property, near 100th Street West and Dawn Road.

San Diego-based developer EDF Renewables LLC estimates construction would take 18 months with an average of 201 people working per day, with a peak workforce of 627. Operations and maintenance would involve the equivalent of 15 people from an adjacent solar project the Board of Supervisors approved in 2020.


Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tejon Breaks Ground

Hard Rock International and the Tejon Indian Tribe celebrated the groundbreaking of the long-awaited hotel and casino located at Hwy. 166 and Sabodan Road West in the community of Mettler, California on Tejon Tribal land. The celebration featured a commemorative shovel groundbreaking with Hard Rock representatives, Tejon Indian Tribe leadership and general membership plus statewide and local community leaders.

The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tejon will be more than 700,000 square feet of which 150,000 square feet will be gaming space, featuring 2,500 of the most popular slots, 48 table games, and video poker, and will be the second closest class III casino to Los Angeles.

“This is an exciting day for the state of California, Kern County and the Tejon Indian Tribe,” said Octavio Escobedo, III Chair of the Tejon Indian Tribe. “This groundbreaking is a symbolic ceremony for the Tribe, which was landless for more than 150 years and has been a priority for us since we were reaffirmed as a federally recognized Indian tribe. From the start of our relationship with the United States government in 1851, our Tribe has fought for a homeland for our people. Today we are one major step closer to the dream of self-determination through economic development. The Tribe would like to thank local community support, the support from Kern County government, the entire California State Legislature, our federal delegation in Washington DC, and especially Governor Gavin Newsom. Including all the non-governmental organizations, SSCR LLC, Hard Rock International and the Seminole Tribe of Florida who stood shoulder-to-shoulder with us to help make our dream of restoring our land base and this groundbreaking possible.”

The project is expected to create approximately 2,000 construction-specific jobs and will be managed by the Penta Building Group, a southern California Company. Once both phases are completed, the project is expected to create approximately 5,000 direct and indirect jobs, both full-time and part-time.

Multiple dining options, including a signature Hard Rock Cafe and fine dining restaurant Council Oak Steaks and Seafood, a Rock Shop, and much more will be included in phase one. Rounding out the second phase will be a 400-room hotel, additional fine dining, pool, spa, cigar lounge and 2,800-seat Hard Rock Live event venue that will draw attractions like concert performances, comedy acts and sporting events to name a few. In addition, Hard Rock’s signature memorabilia will be on display throughout the property. The anticipated completion date of phase one is expected to be 22 months after the first shovel in the ground. Phase two is expected to be another 20 months and will complete the entire hotel and casino.

“Hard Rock is proud to partner with the Tejon Indian Tribe on creating a world-class entertainment destination,” said Jim Allen, chairman of Hard Rock International. “The Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Tejon property will be another incredible offering in our West Coast portfolio, and we are committed to supporting the local community and creating a lasting positive economic impact for the State of California.”



A Wyoming-based corporation has received a $15 million state grant to relocate its headquarters to Fresno, where it plans to manufacture semiconductors and energy storage systems. In the process, the company plans to create at least 500 new, full-time jobs and make nearly $21 million of capital investments in the region.

Tynergy was one of a dozen companies awarded nearly $150 million in grants and tax credits as part of the latest round of the CalCompetes program by the Governor’s Office of Business and Economic Development announced Nov. 17. The announcement comes weeks after members of the Fresno City Council and Fresno County Economic Development Corp. President and CEO Will Oliver hosted a City Hall news conference announcing the Fresno CHIPS Act.

The proposal would create incentives for manufacturers of semiconductors. The Fresno County Economic Development Corp. said in a social media post that Tynergy plans to offer starting salaries of $70,000 per year, complementary training programs and a “robust” benefits package, including childcare services for all employees.

Tynergy is a subsidiary of Indonesia-based green energy company Mirah Green. It bills itself as a sustainable energy development company with a goal to “eradicate poverty through affordable and clean energy while taking climate action.”


Niagara Bottling’s Proposed New Manufacturing Project In Delano, California

Niagara Bottling would like to invest in Delano by building a manufacturing facility that will create local employment opportunities, drive direct capital investment in the area and reinforce the City’s position as a manufacturing leader in the bottled beverage market. Niagara’s future employment in Delano, when fully built out, will be approximately 120 full-time positions with average wages between $58,000 to $60,000, not including overtime, bonuses or benefits. The capital investment is estimated to be up to $160 million and is expected to generate approximately $343,000 in annual tax revenues for the City of Delano.

Who We Are

Niagara Bottling has been family owned and operated since 1963. Headquartered in Diamond Bar, California, Niagara operates bottling facilities throughout the U.S. and Mexico. As a leading beverage manufacturer in the U.S., Niagara Bottling works closely with some of the largest beverage brands, retailers, grocers, club and convenience stores throughout the country. Niagara produces a variety of beverages including bottled water, sparkling, vitamin and flavored water, teas, sports drinks, ready-to-drink coffee, protein drinks and non-dairy milk products.

Our Commitment to Community

At Niagara, we are committed to making a positive impact on society and our communities. As part of this commitment, our local teams place an emphasis on supporting areas of education, emergency need, community beautification, environment, and health and wellness. We are proud to partner with community leaders and charitable organizations that are making a meaningful difference in the world and in the areas where our facilities are located.

Our Focus on Sustainability

Niagara is committed to responsible resource usage and integrating sustainability into every aspect of our business. Niagara has an obligation to not only support environmental initiatives, but to innovate and lead in their product, packaging, manufacturing, and promoting consumer awareness and action on sustainability issues. Here’s how Niagara is putting sustainability first:

  1. Water Stewardship: A Niagara facility uses less water to produce its products than it takes to keep a few golf courses green. Niagara pays volumetric fees for the water it uses and millions in taxes and fees to municipal systems that enable them to maintain and improve their infrastructure.
  2. Packaging Efficiency: Niagara uses the least amount of plastic for its bottles.
  3. Lowest Environmental Impact: Niagara PET bottles have a lower environmental impact across most impact categories when compared to other common beverage and water packaging types. Our half-liter bottles have an embodied carbon footprint that is 46% below the U.S. average.
  4. Recycling Infrastructure and Education: Niagara supports recycling education through International Bottled Water Association’s “Put it in the Bin” campaign and the “Keep the Cap On” campaign.


Amazon opens third fulfillment center in Tracy

Amazon officially opened their latest Tracy fulfillment center with a ribbon cutting on Friday at the 3.7 million-square-foot facility on East Grant Line Road. Director of operations Vincent Wong cut the ribbon for the facility, named SCK6, which had a soft opening in October. Assistant General Manager Mohammed Khan said the building will have approximately 1,500 employees and 3,000 robots in the building at 15000 East Grant Line Road.

At maximum capacity he said Amazon will be able to ship 1 million units a day from the facility, which is the online retailer’s second advanced robotics fulfillment center. Wong welcomed the crowd of employees, some dressed in San Jose Sharks attire, along with invited guests to the dedication.

“We are honored to serve the people of Tracy and especially honored to support our work force here in this place. At Amazon, people are our most valuable asset and resources,” Wong said. “Promotion actually plays an important part in their growth and (our employees are) promoted for recognizing our people and reaching their goals. At Amazon, we start with the community in which we work and live, including myself, we are committed to uniting Tracy and leveraging our resources for good. Since the beginning of 2022 we actually provided more than $4 million in donations for our community here and also in in-kind donations and volunteer hours.”

SCK6 is the fourth logistics center opened in Tracy by the online retailer. Mayor Nancy Young welcomed the new facility to the Tracy community noting that her youngest son had just started working at SCK6 the night before.

“When I got on council it was really hard, and even as my children were growing up, it was a challenge to get a job in the city of Tracy, especially for young people because they were really competing with a lot of adults trying to just hold on their homes and make their ends meet,” Young said. “But when Amazon came here it was the first really big opportunity for a lot of young adults and adults alike to be able to get a really good paying job to be able to take care of their finances. I’m just really excited that this is a great addition to continue to grow our community, to grow our economy and I just want to say thank you all for being a part of this and I encourage each and every one of the Sharkies, each and every one of the workers out there to keep moving forward knowing that you can continue to grow wherever you are, blossom wherever you are.”

San Joaquin County Fifth District Supervisor Robert Rickman joined in welcoming the new facility that had been in the planning stages since he was mayor of Tracy.

“When we approved this facility when I was mayor of Tracy one of the issues we ran into was this was going to be the biggest building in the city of Tracy. So, we had to work with Amazon, adjust our zoning in order to get this building built,” Rickman said. “So driving up and down Grant Line Road and seeing just a dirt field to what it is now is just absolutely amazing.”

New jobs generated by the facility will be a boon to the surrounding communities.

“One of our jobs as elected officials is to bring more jobs, bring awesome companies to our counties, to our cities, and Amazon you have fulfilled that role. The building behind me, what you see, you see local employment — people from Tracy, Stockton, Manteca, Ripon, Lodi, Livermore, the entire surrounding communities — coming to Tracy and making a living, not just for themselves but for their families their spouses and their children,” Rickman said.

He noted the health and education benefits their employees their employees and the company’s work with schools and education will make a difference in the community.

“Your footprint isn’t just here in this parking lot on Grant Line Road but encompasses the entire city of Tracy and San Joaquin County where our population is approximately 800,000 people that live here in the county,” Rickman said.

Amazon has three major centers in town include its OAK4 fulfillment center that opened in 2013, just south SCK6. Two more and two centers in the Prologis International Park of Commerce on the west side of town.


The 10 best U.S. cities for new college grads based on job prospects, average income and more

The class of 2023 has made it pretty clear that they are ready and willing to move for job opportunities — and the destination doesn’t have to be a metropolis like New York City or Los Angeles. Zillow revealed exclusively to CNBC Make it, the marketplace’s 2023 ranking of the best places in the U.S. for recent college graduates.

The study analyzed the cities based on the following factors:
  • Rent-to-income ratio
  • Average salary for recent college graduates
  • Job openings
  • Share of the population in their 20s

“Navigating rent affordability can pose challenges for recent graduates entering the housing market, especially if they are doing it for the first time,” Nicole Bachaud, Zillow senior economist, tells CNBC Make It.

“It is important for these graduates to remain mindful of impending student loan repayments that will soon come into play, which will factor into the budgets of many and may impact housing decisions.”

Zillow’s report found that the second-largest markets across the U.S. can offer college graduates a higher quality of life and an accessible cost of living.

Top 10 best U.S. cities for recent college graduates
  1. Colorado Springs, Colo.
  2. Spokane, Wash.
  3. Des Moines, Iowa
  4. Phoenix, Ariz.
  5. Buffalo, Ariz.
  6. Albuquerque, N.M.
  7. Bakersfield, Calif.
  8. Albany, N.Y.
  9. Portland, Ore.
  10. Little Rock, Ark.

Colorado Springs, Colorado, ranked no. 1 on Zillow’s list of the best U.S. cities for recent college graduates. The Zillow Observed Rent Index found that the average rent in the Colorado city is $1,824, compared to $2,031 in Denver, about 90 minutes away. The study found that the average salary for a recent college grad in Colorado Springs is $63,190—which means the rent ratio is 35%. Colorado Springs is home to the University of Colorado: Colorado Springs, and Colorado College, both places that offer employment opportunities to their own recent grads and graduates of nearby colleges like Pikes Peak Community College.

Spokane, Washington, ranks second on the list. The average rent in Spokane is $1,563, compared to Seattle, where it’s $2,223, according to Zillow. And the average salary in the city is $61,162 making the rent-to-income ratio 31%. Like Colorado Springs, Spokane, Washington, is the second-largest city in its state. During the pandemic Spokane saw a rise in remote job postings and has been able to maintain that rate, specifically in areas of technical services, health care, social assistance, finance and insurance.

Rounding out the top three is Des Moines, Iowa. The city is a hub for recent college grads looking to get into the insurance and financial services sector. Some major companies with a significant presence in Des Moines include Wells Fargo and UPS. According to Zillow, the typical rent is $1,202, while the average salary for recent college grads is $59,697. The rent-to-income ratio in Des Moines is 24%, which is less than a quarter of the average salary for 2023 college graduates, $59,600, according to The National Center for Education Statistics. “With strong job growth and affordable rents, Des Moines becomes an attractive city for recent grads to build their careers and enjoy a comfortable lifestyle,” Emily McDonald, Zillow rental trends expert, tells CNBC Make It.


Another manufacturing facility for Patterson, boosting jobs for Stanislaus County

A new manufacturing plant in western Stanislaus County will provide more space to make office furniture for high-tech firms and will increase the company’s workforce. HPL Contract of Patterson is proposing the 128,800-square-foot facility in the West Patterson Business Park, according to plans submitted to the city. HPL, based in a facility on Baldwin Road in Patterson, plans the two-story building with robotic equipment on eight acres at 2501 Keystone Pacific Parkway, east of Haggerty Drive.

The project will increase HPL’s workforce in Patterson to between 50 and 80 employees. Founded in 1997, HPL makes office furniture for Silicon Valley businesses and global companies including Facebook and Google. Plans for the new facility call for hours of operation Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m. The development plans were submitted to City Hall in February. The size of the facility triggers a city requirement for 273 parking spaces, according to city planning reports, but the City Council is considering new parking standards for manufacturing facilities.

If the council approves the new parking standards of one space per 1,000 square feet, the HPL facility will have 152 parking spaces, including 24 for electric vehicles. If the City Council does not approve the parking standard amendments, HPL will need to work 273 spaces into the development plan. Keith Schneider, the applicant, said a fewer number of parking spaces makes sense for the manufacturing plant. “Manufacturing today is more highly sophisticated and more automated with high-skilled employees,” Schneider said. Patterson is looking at updated parking requirements for automated and robotic manufacturing facilities, which employ fewer workers than traditional factories.

A survey found that some other cities have more lenient standards than Patterson’s one parking space per 500 square feet. Fresno’s standard is one space per 1,500 square feet of floor area. Merced and Turlock require one space per 1,000 square feet, while Tracy requires one per 600 square feet. Patterson’s planning commission approved an architectural review of the HPL facility Thursday. The city hasn’t set a council hearing on the parking standards.

After city permits are approved, construction of the HPL facility is expected to be completed in 12 months. The company will move its operations from two locations in Patterson to the new building, Schneider said. HPL’s website says the business is committed to sustainable work environments and business practices based on sound economics, environmental protection and social responsibility.


Carbon business park planned in western Kern could bring 22K jobs, $88M in tax revenue

A new analysis has found a giant carbon management business park envisioned in western Kern could go a long way toward replacing local jobs and tax revenues expected to be lost as state and federal climate action continues to erode the county’s oil and gas industry.

If the proposal is able attract the estimated $1.3 to $2.5 billion in private investment needed for construction, and assuming it clears environmental hurdles, the proposal would be expected to create at least 13,540 jobs and more than $41 million per year for local cities and county government.

A less conservative estimate suggests the potential benefit could be much higher: as many as 22,014 new jobs and up to $88 million in local tax revenues, according to the county-ordered report by Yorba Linda economic consulting firm Natelson Dale.

The assessment raises hopes the range of climate-friendly activities proposed for the carbon management business park, from production of so-called green hydrogen and green steel to biomass carbon removal and storage, will generate economic opportunity to a degree the county’s massive solar and wind energy installations alone have not.

“The CMBP promises to be a significant economic driver that will further enhance and complement our region’s incredibly diverse and dynamic energy portfolio,” President and CEO Richard Chapman of Kern Economic Development Corp. said in an email Friday. He serves on the park’s executive steering committee along with representatives of local industry, higher education, government and environmental justice groups.

Kern County’s chief administrative officer, Ryan J. Alsop, explained the county’s intentions in an email:

“The development of a Carbon Management Business Park, and the board’s consideration of this agenda item, is in line with our adopted five-year strategic plan to prioritize the development and continued growth of a thriving, resilient regional economy, which means promoting and supporting our county’s position as a national energy leader, and further strengthening our position as the alternative energy technologies and solutions leader among all other counties in the state of California.”

Planning of the business park has been spearheaded by Director Lorelei Oviatt of the Kern County Planning and Natural Resources Department and largely funded by a technical assistance grant last year from the U.S. Department of Energy. Its conceptual development has run concurrently with progress by local oil and gas producers on related proposals for capturing and burying carbon dioxide.

Permanent burial of greenhouse gases is the various projects’ common link. Incentivized by state and federal tax credits and driven in part by potential revenue from the market for private carbon credits, carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS, would deploy a set of advantages unique to Kern. These include vast underground reservoirs in areas suitably far from residential development, existing energy infrastructure, business-friendly permitting and local industrial and underground injection expertise.

Another factor seen as critical to continued state and federal support is the damage that climate action does to Kern’s employment and tax base. Policymakers have acknowledged weaning California off internal combustion engines will eliminate thousands of good local jobs and cost county government many tens of millions of dollars per year in property tax revenue.

Natelson Dale’s assessment, released Thursday as part of a county staff report previewing a presentation scheduled for Tuesday to the county Board of Supervisors, provides the clearest picture yet of how much the local economy may stand to gain if the carbon management business park proceeds as planned.

The report contained the caveat that the CMBP proposes to include new types of industries that, so far, have not built installations of the scale the county envisions. It noted property valuations the tax revenue projections are based on assume industrial zoning will be applied across 4,000 acres, with an additional 30,000 acres set aside for commercial-scale photovoltaic solar arrays to power the business park. Also, extensive environmental reviews subject to scrutiny by skeptical advocacy groups would have to be approved before development could begin.

That said, the consultancy’s most conservative guess was that the county would receive almost $24.2 million in property tax revenue per year as a direct result of the business park’s development, plus $4.3 million in sales tax income. Local cities, it said, would annually get more than $4.5 million from property tax and $8.4 million from sales tax.

The more optimistic view was that county’s annual property tax revenue would grow by more than $56 million if the CMBP comes to fruition, while sales tax receipts would rise by almost $8 million per year. For cities, the figures were $8.4 million and $15.6 million, respectively. The report’s new-employment projections included wage estimates of between $1 million and $1.8 million, led by jobs in a steel micro mill with between 500 and 1,501 positions, green hydrogen (368 to 1,228) and a research-and-development incubator site (325 to 876).

A broad jobs category called ancillary clean energy industries was expected to add a total of between 11,682 and 15,575 new positions.

Suzanne Noble, senior director of production operations at the Western States Petroleum Association, who serves on the CMBP executive steering committee, said in a statement that the trade group is proud to be part of the effort. “These types of partnerships show the importance of the oil industry today and for the future,” she wrote. “The county, with the support of the Department of Energy, is taking the lead in energy innovation.”