Direct Public Offering announced for CA's first solar desalination plant

Sept. 8, 2015
Today, WaterFX Hydro I, Inc., dba HydroRevolution, a California subsidiary of WaterFX, announced the filing of a Direct Public Offering for the construction of a state-of-the-art solar-powered desalination plant in California's Central Valley. 

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, Sept. 8, 2015 -- Today, WaterFX Hydro I, Inc., dba HydroRevolution, a California subsidiary of WaterFX, announced the filing of a Direct Public Offering (DPO) for the construction of a state-of-the-art solar-powered desalination plant in California's Central Valley. Water produced by the plant will be purchased by local water agencies for deliveries beginning in late 2016. By using the sun to recycle a nearly limitless source of saltwater back into usable fresh water, HydroRevolution is developing a sustainable and reliable water supply for California. Once constructed, it will be the largest solar desalination plant in North America (see: "CA's first commercial solar desalination plant to bring fresh water to Central Valley").

The HydroRevolution plant is the first commercial solar desalination plant to be constructed in California. At full scale, the plant will occupy up to 100 acres of land in the Panoche Water and Drainage District and produce 5,000 acre-feet of fresh water per year. The system is capable of treating water with greater than 90-percent recovery rate, isolating salt and mineral by-products for downstream commercial uses. The plant expands on the demonstration project operated by WaterFX in 2013 in the Panoche Water and Drainage District. The expansion will utilize clean, solar energy to treat irrigation drainage water from 6,000 acres of salt-impaired cropland and generate a new supply of fresh water for the district. WaterFX will service and operate the plant through a partnership with ATSI Engineering.

Unlike conventional desalination plants, HydroRevolution will not treat seawater; rather, it will draw from a replenishing supply of shallow irrigation water, known as subsurface drainage water, which has previously been unusable. Irrigation drainage water is a natural consequence of agricultural activities but poses a serious threat to cropland, wildlife and waterways in the Central Valley as its high salinity content can damage freshwater ecosystems. By treating this source of water, HydroRevolution will help farmers solve two difficult problems: obtaining a consistent and reliable source of fresh water and restoring impaired ecosystems. Without this solution, an additional 10 percent of farmland in California will have to be retired every year to create additional storage for untreated drainage water.

The new commercial solar desalination plant will be constructed in the Panoche Water and Drainage District in California's Central Valley.

Behind the HydroRevolution plant is the Aqua4™ technology, a concentrated solar still developed by WaterFX, that harnesses the energy from the sun to produce thermal energy, which powers the distillation process. As the solar receivers capture solar thermal energy, mineral oil is heated and carries thermal energy to the heat pump that optimizes energy efficiency and feeds heat to a multi-effect distillation system (MED). The MED evaporates fresh water from the water source, and the condensate is recovered in the form of purified water. The system is capable of freshwater recovery rates higher than 90 percent, and the remaining brine is further treated to isolate salt and mineral by-products and eliminate liquid discharge.

This marks the first time a DPO has been used for a desalination project and made the purchase of dividend-yielding shares available to the general public. Profits from the sale of water will be distributed through a dividend to preferred shareholders. The DPO is a State of California registered Qualification by Permit (permit #3499), regulated through the Department of Business Oversight. This investment platform enables HydroRevolution to sell shares to both accredited and non-accredited investors in California. The company is issuing $10 million of preferred equity and anticipates raising $20 million in debt financing for the construction of the project.

In keeping with the company's open-source philosophy, participation in the HydroRevolution project is open to the California public, and the company will be majority owned by California residents upon close of the campaign. The investment is also open to organizations, foundations and corporations based in California.

See also:

"Solar Solutions: Utilities Harness Power of Sunlight to Reduce Costs, Save Energy"

"One of nation's largest WTPs to receive large-scale solar installation"


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