The permanent shutdown of the San Onofre Nuclear Generating Plant opens new opportunities for California’s green energy re-evolution. Nuclear power plants basically boil water for steam turbines and electrical energy production while creating a stockpile of radioactive material.
Emerging fuel cell technology led by UC Irvine’s National Fuel Cell Research Center can generate power directly from sewage methane “natural gas” to locally produce electricity. Now, Laguna’s sewage can be converted to very natural gas for hydrogen fuel cell production of local electricity.
Orange County Sanitation District is already using fuel cell energy to filter and produce 70 million gallons of high purity water each day.
Every day, Laguna’s sewage is processed with biosolid removal and transported to distant facilities. And every day the wastewater generated – more than 2 million gallons – joins another 10 million gallons of secondary sewage flows from inland cities and is discharged just 1.2 miles off of Laguna Beach near Treasure Island Cove and the Montage resort.
Recycling Laguna’s sewage at the Coastal Treatment Plant to generate clean electricity will help replace energy from dangerous nuclear power plants, and this new source of power can filter our sewage water to potable quality for Laguna’s routine irrigation, wildfire protection and disaster programs.
Protecting the ocean from sewage discharges and providing a citywide “new water” recycling network powered by our natural gas will help Laguna evolve from a wise water city to become a smart, sustainable water community.
Michael Beanan, Laguna Beach