Catalina Island and SoCal Edison’s Desalination Plants Are Quenching Thirst

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Southern California Edison’s (SCE) first desalination plant on Catalina Island. The desalination process strips salt out of ocean water from two underground saltwater beach wells to make it drinkable. The desalination plant was considered a developing technology in 1992. It was the first ocean water to drinking water plant on the West Coast and one of the first prototypes in the country.

SCE built the first desalination plant in response to the development of the nearby Hamilton Cove condominiums and the drought in the late 1980s.

Catalina Island Uses SoCal Edison Desalination Plant to Avoid Drought

If you take a boat ride to Catalina Island, you’ll notice it’s surrounded by the ocean.

“We’re about 4,000 people on a year-round basis, but we get up to a million visitors a year, and so of course that impacts a lot of our infrastructure because we have these visitors and thank God we do because we’re an entirely tourist-based community,” said Avalon Mayor Anni Marshall.

Opinion: After COVID-19, Drought Threat Still Looms

California is enveloped in balmy weather that’s more like spring than mid-winter — and that’s not a good thing. We have seen only scant rain and snow this winter, indicating that the state may be experiencing one of its periodic droughts and adding another layer of crisis to the COVID-19 pandemic and economic recession. The all-important Sierra snowpack, California’s primary source of water, is scarcely half of what is deemed a normal depth.

How Safe is the Water Off the Coast of the San Onofre Nuclear Plant?

Though many may not know it, throughout its existence the San Onofre Nuclear Generation Station has discharged wastewater that contains very low levels of radiation. All nuclear plants release some effluents, though the nature and amounts can vary by plant site and configuration.

Southern California Edison Wants its New, Huge 770 MW Battery Storage Procurement Online Fast

Southern California Edison signed seven contracts for a total of 770 megawatts of lithium-ion battery-based energy storage — to enhance the regional grid’s reliability and replace four large coastal once-through cooling plants.

It’s one of the nation’s largest energy storage procurements and an indication of utility acceptance of massive-scale battery storage. Late last year, the California Public Utilities Commission urged California’s power providers and community choice aggregators to procure 3.3 GW of storage and PV-plus-storage systems to solve grid congestion and to compensate for gas and coal plant retirements.

Remarkably, SCE wants these energy storage resources online by August 2021, an aggressive timeline unthinkable for any type of fossil fuel project of this size.

California’s Blackouts Could Make Fighting Climate Change Even Harder

The state’s electric grid was experiencing rapid and unprecedented changes even before Pacific Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison began shutting off power to millions of people in a desperate scramble to prevent their transmission lines from sparking wildfires.

Solar and wind power were booming. Gas-fired power plants were shutting down. Investor-owned utility companies such as PG&E and Edison were being replaced by city-run alternatives. And the falling cost of lithium-ion batteries was making some households less reliant on the grid than ever before.

The changes will only accelerate in the coming years, as California ramps up efforts to fight climate change by cleaning up its energy supply.

Wildfire Panel Recommends Extending Safeguards to Water Agencies

When the Thomas Fire reached Ventura city limits early on Dec. 5, 2017, a critical tool to help curb the flames quickly disappeared: water.

Some of the more than 500 people who ultimately lost their homes sued Ventura over that lack of water, though they later directed their energy at Southern California Edison, which investigators found caused the fire.