CARLSBAD — Investing in energy reduction is paying off at the Claude “Bud” Lewis Carlsbad Desalination Plant.
San Diego Gas & Electric (SDG&E) named Poseidon Water an “Energy Champion” for 2016. Poseidon was selected as the Water Energy Nexus Champion for their investments in, and commitment to, sustainability and energy efficiency.
To reduce energy consumption at the plant, Poseidon employs 144 state-of-the-art energy recovery devices, which save an estimated 146 million kilowatt-hours (kWh) of energy per year and reduce carbon emissions by 42,000 metric tons annually — a saving roughly equivalent to removing 9,000 passenger vehicles from the roads.
Throughout the last six months of commercial operation, the plant has been working at 11 percent below the energy consumption guarantees in the Water Purchase Agreement with the San Diego County Water Authority.
The operation of the Carlsbad desalination facility does not generate greenhouse gas emissions of any kind; however, Poseidon’s precedent-setting Energy Minimization and Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan offsets air emission’s associated with the plant’s purchase of electricity — a first for a large-scale water treatment plant in California.
In the first six months of operations, the plant used two million pounds of recycled carbon dioxide in the water treatment process, which converted the gas to harmless compounds and prevented an equivalent amount from escaping to the atmosphere.
Additionally, Poseidon is developing 66 acres of new coastal wetlands and has invested $1 million to plant trees after the 2003 wild fires that ravaged Cuyamaca National Forest.
“The water from the Carlsbad plant is truly the only drought-proof supply available to San Diego, it is not dependent on local rainfall or snowpack in the Sierra,” said Graham Beatty, Poseidon Water Director, Project Management and Finance.
“Poseidon is committed to providing sustainable, fresh and clean drinking water to San Diego in an environmentally responsible manner.”
Today, the Carlsbad plant is the largest, most technologically advanced, energy efficient and environmental sound seawater desalination plant in the Western Hemisphere. It runs everyday producing 50 million gallons of high quality drinking water — enough to meet the needs of approximately 400,000 San Diegans. To date, the plant has produced and delivered more than 7 billion gallons of fresh, drinking water into San Diego County.