Huntington Beach Desalination Project to be California’s first large-scale water treatment facility to be 100% carbon neutral

Huntington Beach, CA – Today, Poseidon Water announced its unprecedented commitment to carbon neutrality by offsetting 100% of the direct and indirect emissions from the construction and operation of its proposed Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Plant, which is currently under review by the California Coastal Commission.


Huntington Beach, CA – Today, Poseidon Water announced its unprecedented commitment to carbon neutrality by offsetting 100% of the direct and indirect emissions from the construction and operation of its proposed Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Plant, which is currently under review by the California Coastal Commission. Poseidon’s Energy Minimization and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan (“GHG Plan”) was submitted to the Commission as part of its permit application on November 9th.

While the reverse osmosis process to be used by Poseidon’s seawater desalination facility does not emit greenhouse gases, the GHG Plan commits to offsetting 100% of the facility’s direct emissions from construction prior to the plant’s commercial operation, and then on a yearly basis Poseidon will zero out the indirect emissions associated with the purchase of electricity to operate the plant.

When complete, the Huntington Beach Desalination Project will provide Orange County with 50 million gallons of fresh drinking water per day from the Pacific Ocean, matching the company’s Carlsbad plant as the largest seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere.

“We are proud of this unprecedented commitment, which will make the Huntington Beach facility the largest water treatment plant in California that is 100% carbon neutral,” said Scott Maloni, Poseidon Vice President. “Once completed, Huntington Beach will be home to the largest, most technologically advanced, energy efficient and environmentally responsible seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere.”

The energy used to desalinate seawater comes from the electrical grid, which is fed by power plants that may create GHG emissions. Due to this, Poseidon has offered to voluntarily commit to offsetting the indirect GHG emissions associated with the Project’s purchase of electricity even though it is not required by law.

“This project is exciting news for more employment opportunities in Southern California and presents a responsible way to secure and insure our state’s water supply in the face of climate change and during future droughts,” said Senator Kevin de León, President pro Tempore of the California State Senate. “Poseidon’s resolute commitment to offset all carbon emissions shows how companies can really grow this economy while at the same time protecting our environment and the air we breathe.” 

The GHG Plan outlines Poseidon’s approach to avoid, reduce, and mitigate emissions from the construction and operation of the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project. Since offsetting indirect GHG emissions is an ongoing process dependent on dynamic information, the plan establishes a protocol for identifying, securing, monitoring and updating measures each year to eliminate the Project’s carbon footprint. 

Poseidon will calculate the project’s gross indirect GHG emissions by multiplying its electricity use by the emissions factor assigned to Southern California Edison. Poseidon will then offset its indirect emissions through the purchase of Climate Reserve Tonnes (CRTs) and carbon offsets, and Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) or the investment in projects that offset carbon emission (e.g. reforestation).

Poseidon will also implement state-of-the-art desalination and energy recovery technologies to minimize energy consumption. One such feature is the use of a state-of-the art pressure exchanger-based energy recovery system that allows recovery and reuse of over 40% of the energy associated with the reverse osmosis (RO) process. The Huntington Beach project will also recover approximately 2,100 tons of CO2 annually from the reverse osmosis purification process and reuse that CO2 during the post-treatment process. 

Poseidon’s landmark 50 million-gallon per day seawater desalination project in Carlsbad, CA is scheduled to be in operation in December 2015.

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