Combined cooling and desalination “limits environment impact”

Studies by a company proposing to construct a groundbreaking combination of desalination plant and data centre have shown the facility will cause only limited negative impact to the environment according to the researchers.

A three-year study by DeepWater Desal found that a 125 million litre a day desalination plant proposed for a site on the central California coast would:
·reduce greenhouse emissions by using coolant water from a proposed data centre;
·kill few fish;
·meet current and future restrictions on release of brine into the ocean; and
·create fewer geological risks than drilling owing to its use of a deepwater canyon as its seawater source.
“What’s exciting for us is that our theories have been validated by these studies,” said DeepWater spokesman David Armanasco. A full environmental review of the project is to come following DeepWater Desal’s submission of its plans to by the State Lands Commission on 30 May.
The plant has been proposed as a future water source for supplier Soquel Creek Water District. The proposal calls for drawing cold seawater from the Monterey Submarine Canyon. After using that water to cool a proposed data centre on the site the then warmed water will pass to a reverse-osmosis desalination plant.
The heat absorbed in the data centre cooling will reduce the energy needed for desalination. This combination of data centre cooling and desalination is claimed as unique and to emit significantly less carbon than would both facilities operating separately.
DeepWater Desal foresees the proposed plant as producing water the Santa Cruz County, date supplier Soquel Creek’s expression of interest is the only one. Soquel Creek serves 35,000 people and relies currently on an overdrafted groundwater basin.