Poseidon Water announces comprehensive environmental protection and energy reduction plan for Huntington Beach Desalination Project

Leading up to a key vote at the California State Lands Commission, Poseidon Water announced a comprehensive environmental protection and energy reduction plan for their proposed seawater desalination plant in Huntington Beach.

On October 19th, the State Lands Commission will consider approving an environmental impact report covering new technology enhancements for the large-scale desalination project that will produce 56,000 acre feet per year (50 million gallons per day or enough for 400,000 residents) of drinking water that is locally controlled and resilient to climate change.

“Poseidon is committed to powering, building and operating the Huntington Beach desalination facility in the most environmentally beneficial way possible—along with bringing significant economic benefits to the region and the state,” said Scott Maloni, Poseidon Water’s Vice President. “We are taking unprecedented steps to protect California’s environment and ensure the project is 100% carbon neutral and that it is the most energy efficient large-scale desalination facility in the world.”

The comprehensive plan includes significant environmental stewardship efforts as well as major reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, energy, and imported water, while ensuring economic benefits.

Among the provisions of the plan:

Greenhouse Gases (GHG) Reduction

  • Zero GHG emissions from the operation of the reverse osmosis process used during desalination
  • Offsetting 100% of the facility’s direct emissions from the unavoidable GHG production of the construction and operation of the project (essentially from the transportation of goods and services to the project)
  • Solar panels installed at the project to the extent allowed by law.
  • Purchase as much green power as allowed by law.
  • Participate in any available direct access purchases of green power.
  • Offsetting 100% of the indirect GHG emissions from the purchase of electricity, on a yearly basis, by purchase of Climate Action Reserve (CAR) compliant offsets or Renewable Energy Credits (RECs).

Energy Reduction

  • The plant will use the most energy efficient reverse osmosis membranes permitted by the state’s regulatory agencies.
  • The plant will utilize the latest generation energy recovery devices that will reduce energy use by an estimated 146 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) per year and therefore eliminate 42,000 metric tons of carbon emissions each year – a saving roughly equivalent to removing 9,000 passenger vehicles from the roads.
  • The building design will follow LEED energy and water efficiency designs and procedures.
  • Cost reductions associated with future advances in technology that reduces plant energy

Reducing Imported Water

  • The facility will be the single largest source of new, local water that is resilient to climate change available to the region.
  • Orange County, as a result, will reduce its need to import water from overburdened Sacramento San Joaquin Bay Delta.
  • The project will create flexibility for Orange County Water District’s management of the groundwater basin.
  • Desalinated water will help prevent seawater intrusion and the pollution of the groundwater basin providing water for more than 2 million people.

Environmental Stewardship

  • First large-scale plant to use cutting-edge seawater intake technology in an open ocean setting.
  • 1mm (1/25th inch, thickness of a credit card) intake screen with water velocity of less than 0.5 feet per second to protect against marine life intake, significantly protecting marine life.
  • State-of-art diffuser to ensure brine discharge meets and exceeds all federal and state water quality regulations
  • The project mitigation plan safeguards the survival of the Bolsa Chica Wetlands by maintaining ocean inlet. California has lost 91% of its wetlands, 1,500 acre Bolsa Chica is among most important environmental resources managed by the State Lands Commission.
  • Restoration of the Brownfield site adjacent to a superfund site.

Economic Benefits

  • Create over 3,000 jobs during the 3-year construction period.
  • $500 million in spending during construction.
  • $50 million annually in operation and maintenance expenditures.
  • Project Labor Agreement to ensure livable wages for regional workers.

This article was released by Poseidon Water.