Desalination….Desalinization, It’s All Good

By January 30, 2007Energy

Newt Gingrich’s riff on environmentalist opposition to desalination (a high moment for attendees at last weekend’s National Review Institute summit) prompted us to catch up on our reading on the topic. And what do you know? Good things are going on.

MADRID, Jan 29 (Reuters) – Spanish construction-to-services group Acciona (ANA.MC: Quote, Profile , Research) said on Monday it has been selected by Poseidon Resources Corp to design, build and put into operation a de-salination plant in Carlsbad, California.

The plant, which will be the biggest in the United States, will involve an investment of $300 million and will produce 204,000 cubic metres of high quality potable water per day.

The project will provide enough desalinated water for 300,000 residents of San Diego County a year. We know very little about the venture — described at the Poseidon Resources website here — but are inclined toward any effort that uses the most advanced technology to address a pressing human need while easing pressure on other water sources, i.e., the environment.

The Encina Power Plant that will power the plant uses petroleum, but as the desalination process is energy-intensive, nuclear power is seen as a promising part of this trend, especially in the developing world. Which leads us to some other good news, although not salt-related:

SPRING CITY (AP) — The Tennessee Valley Authority will submit applications to build two new nuclear reactors under the government’s streamlined licensing process and restart its oldest reactor after a 22-year shutdown at Browns Ferry, TVA officials told The Chattanooga Times Free Press.

The nuclear renaissance grows.