Categorized | Energy, Environment, Poseidon

Sucking Up: AES must modernize, but what about Poseidon?

Sucking Up: AES must modernize, but what about Poseidon?

By John Earl
Surf City Voice

Surf City’s power generator, owned and operated by AES Southland, and located on the corner of Newland Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway, will be replaced with a brand new and fully modern plant, minus the industrial dinosaur look–including the ugly smoke stacks that leak large steam plumes into the sky—currently a visual blight for miles around juxtaposed with one of the most beautiful coastlines in the state.

That’s good news for the city’s residents and tourists, but even better news for the millions of marine animals that would otherwise be killed by being sucked through the plant’s intake pipes along with seawater used to cool the plant.

Seater intake system

AES seawater intake system. From the Poseidon SEIR

The good news comes from a May 4 decision by the State Water Board that was long expected and is intended to stop the massive destruction of marine life by requiring power plants to use the “best technology available for minimizing environmental impact” or reduce water intake in order to create no greater an impact.

The ruling will affect 19 power generators along the California coast.

In effect, that means AES will either have to shut down or find an alternative to the “once-through-cooling” (OTC) process it currently uses to cool it’s Huntington Beach facility as well as generators in Long Beach and Redondo Beach.

The new standard must be met by 2020; the State Water Board could give more time for AES HB and other power plants to comply in phases, but change is coming.

6 Responses to “Sucking Up: AES must modernize, but what about Poseidon?”

  1. Don Schulz says:

    The article states; “Poseidon needs the OTC pipes to suck in the 127 million gallons of seawater for conversion to fresh water and in order to fulfill the project plan it is trying to sell to private investors and public agencies.”

    However the SEIR has indicated that a minimum of 152 mgd would be needed in order to meet NPDES permit reqirments for a stand-alone
    desalination plant at the AES site in Huntington Beach.

    In either case the volume of brine discharged from the proposed desalination plant would be 50mgd less than the intake volume and the concentration of contaminants contained in the discharged effluent not removed by the desalination process will always be greater than the concentration at the intake regardless of the mixing zone dilution factor.

    The source water at the intake at Huntington State Beach is on the State 303(d) list of Impared Water Bodies for, among other potential contaminants, high levels of PCB’s-a carcinogenic chemical. The discharger is not permitted to discharge brine into an impared water body having concentrations of contaminants greater than that listed in the California Ocean Plan (Table B) unless a Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL) has been established for that contaminant. To date no such TMDL has been established for PCB’s at this site.

    Don Schulz
    Advisor, R4RD.

  2. Citizens For Sustainability says:

    If you live in the 68th District, make sure to not vote for Long Pham. According to his candidate statement, he is for “promoting investment in new nuclear and desalination plants.”

    Imagine a nuclear powered AES plant in HB that would power the desal plant. I can’t imagine anything worse for HB or surrounding cities than that.

  3. Joe says:

    I don’t understand why this is labeled as commentary.

  4. admin says:

    It was labeled as “commentary” on the web site aquafornia, for the benefit of other readers. I protested, but received no response.


  1. […] Once-through-cooling, the intake method preferred by desalination proponents because it sucks in huge quantities of sea water through already existing intake systems attached to electrical power generating plants – like exist in Carlsbad and Huntington Beach – is deemed destructive to the coast’s fragile balance of marine life by ocean scientists, and state regulators have ordered it to be phased out within a decade. […]

  2. […] of co-locating with a power plant for ocean intake, as Poseidon Resources Inc. plans to do with the AES power plant in southeast Huntington Beach in order to suck in 100 million gallons or more of seawater each day […]

Leave a Reply


Please Give Generously Now

Other Amount:

Your URL or E-mail :

Calendar: Click for that day’s posts

May 2010
« Apr   Jun »
%d bloggers like this: