The Orange County Power Authority (OCPA) and Poseidon Water have entered into a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to work together toward making the Huntington Beach Seawater Desalination Facility the first desalination plant in the western hemisphere to be powered entirely by renewable energy.

Poseidon’s proposed desalination project requires an average steady load of approximately 25 MW, which would make it one of the larger energy users in Orange County. The City of Huntington Beach, an OCPA member, recently voted to offer businesses and residents 100% renewable energy through OCPA. While the project is already guaranteed to have zero-carbon footprint through the state’s carbon offset program, being powered completely by renewable energy would further enhance the facility’s environmental sustainability.

“We’re proud to enter into this MOU with Poseidon Water today and are pleased to see they are dedicated to ensuring the water produced by this state-of-the-art desalination plant will be powered by solar, wind and other renewable sources,” says OCPA Chairman Mike Carroll.

“My fellow Huntington Beach City Council Members and I recently selected 100% renewable energy, through OCPA, as our default plan for customers – taking bold steps to address climate change,” states OCPA’s Board Member and Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Mike Posey. “With this project located in Huntington Beach, I am happy to see that Poseidon Water has also committed to work toward making their project even more sustainable by working with OCPA in an effort to power the desalination plant entirely with renewable energy.”

In addition to this MOU, the project has enhanced its environmental protection by retrofitting its intake pipes to use wedge-wire screens to minimize marine life impacts. Also, Poseidon Water has committed to protecting and preserving the Bolsa Chica wetlands for the next generation.

“We set a precedent in 2010 by making our proposed Huntington Beach desalination project 100% carbon neutral through our voluntary Energy Minimization & Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan,” comments Scott Maloni, Poseidon Water’s vice president. “However, it has always been our goal to have the project powered entirely by renewable energy if it were feasible to do so and with this MOU in partnership with the OCPA, we’ve shown our commitment to making that a reality.”

The MOU guarantees that OCPA and Poseidon Water will meet at least monthly to work toward a binding agreement to ensure the project can be powered entirely by renewable energy sources.

This post appeared first on North American Windpower.

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