FOUNTAIN VALLEY, CA, Jan. 8, 2015 -- In an effort to secure the single largest source of new water in Orange County, Calif., the Orange County Water District (OCWD) board of directors voted 9-1 today to enter into formal negotiations with Poseidon Water, a project development specialist that partners with water agencies to deliver water infrastructure projects.
The decision to collaborate with Poseidon for the purchase of OCWD's new water source -- 56,000 acre-feet annually from the proposed Huntington Beach Desalination Project, a landmark 50-million-gallon-per-day seawater desalination project in the city of Carlsbad (see "CA desalination building project underway") -- comes after the District completed an 18-month financial due-diligence process.
OCWD's independent financial consultant, Clean Energy Capital, evaluated the proposed Huntington Beach project and issued a final report substantiating Poseidon's project cost estimates, identifying myriad additional public-private partnership scenarios that could lower the cost of financing and construction of the project.
"Today's vote is a critical step towards a drought-proof water supply for Orange County," said Scott Maloni, vice president of Poseidon Water. "We look forward to these formal discussions with OCWD and developing a public-private partnership that ensures the benefits of this project are shared throughout Orange County."
Poseidon's Huntington Beach Desalination Project is awaiting discretionary permit approval from the California Coastal Commission to proceed with construction. A hearing before the Coastal Commission is anticipated later this year, and commencement of construction is expected in 2016.
Poseidon's seawater desalination project is scheduled to be in operation early fall of 2015. Once completed, it will be the largest, most technologically advanced, energy-efficient and environmentally responsible seawater desalination project in the Western Hemisphere.