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.
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. Read the full story
The pilot desalination plant under construction in Dana Point, just off of Pacific Coast Highway and next to Doheny State Beach, will test environmental data to determine the design of a larger facility in the future that will create 15 million gallons of drinking water per day from ocean water, meeting 25 percent of the supply needs for five partner cities or water districts that together will form the South Orange Coastal Ocean Desalination Project.
The desalination plant is being created by the Municipal Water District of Orange County
(MWDOC) with funding assistance from various other government agencies.
Unlike the two desalination plants proposed by Poseidon Resources Inc. to be built in Huntington Beach and Carlsbad, the Dana Point facility is publicly owned and will not use a water intake system that kills countless marine life organisms and is being phased out by new environmental regulations. That system is used by power generating companies to keep their plants cool, and Poseidon hopes to piggy back on it to supply 100 million gallons of seawater to each of its desalination plants daily in order to create 50 million gallons of drinking water.
Poseidon CEO Scott Maloni and MWDOC manager Karl Seckel at the OC Water Summit. Photo: Arturo Tolenttino for the SCV
Recently created state regulations covering power generating plants would require the “best technology available for minimizing environmental impact,” or a reduction in water intake in order not to exceed the maximum environmental impact allowed. That would for all practical purposes end that “once-through-cooling” process which is currently used by the power generating plants in Huntington Beach and Carlsbad and that Poseidon plans to plug into. The new standard must be met by 2020. Read the full story