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  • 1.  SCOTUS ruling a blow to the EPA, boon to the Department of Defense?

    Posted 07-05-2022 03:29 PM

    The Department of Defense has a national security mandate to defend against threats from climate change. For example, the DOD has an Energy Resilience and Conservation Investment Program. Could Camp Pendelton be a/the primary stakeholder in offsetting over 2 billion pounds of fossil fuels per year by producing 2.4 billion kilowatt hours of renewables power with a project like the Changlongshan Hydropower recently brought online in China?


    I am engaged in a feasibility study for a facility that would combine peak-power pumped hydroelectric energy storage, mixed renewable energy applications and desalination of sea water particularly as these would relate to well-filtered sea water that has been elevated to reservoirs about 450 meters above sea level within about 3 kilometers of the coast. The project would be to design a Power and Water Park at Camp Pendelton near San Onofre Beach and about one or two miles from the decommissioned San Onofre 2GW nuclear power plant.


    I am hoping to engage in dialogs with interested parties and experts to see if a project to add about 2,000 megawatts of peak-buffering power to the grid using renewable sources and enough desalinated water adequate to supply all of San Diego's needs would be possible, if it is not already being planned.


    I have done some basic estimations of electrical power storage, electrical power production from renewable sources and volumes of desalinated sea water that could be produced from filtered sea water elevated to between 400 to 500 meters above the coast at the San Onofre Mountain on Camp Pendelton property. Power production of over six million kilowatt-hours per day and 500,000 cubic meters of desalinated sea water per day seem to be realistic using well established technologies. I would like to talk with some experts in these fields to explore the engineering feasibility of such a power and water park at Camp Pendelton North.


    I have USGS contour maps of the areas to be considered. The coastal bluffs have elevations up to 500 meters above sea level and I have outlined possible sites for reservoirs to store desalinated and filtered types of sea water. I would like to contact people who may wish to help with looking into the physics and engineering of such a project.  


    Some basic assumptions:

    Well filtered sea water elevated to 400 meters above lower reservoir turbine-pumps and 400 meters above reverse osmosis filtration systems would have both on-demand energy storage capacity and would have most of the pressure potential needed for reverse osmosis.


    For example, one cubic meter of water raised to, or dropped from, 370 meters has, or requires, about 1 kilowatt-hour of energy.


    Desalination of sea water typically has a high energy cost to develop the 800 psi typically needed for efficient reverse osmosis. Well-filtered water elevated to 400 meters already has about 570 psi of available pressure if it were then to be pumped through filtration modules at the coast below.


    Thank you for your kind attention,

    Please contact me at:


    Ph# 818-262-1543  (text capable cell)


    Dave Short

    David Short

  • 2.  RE: SCOTUS ruling a blow to the EPA, boon to the Department of Defense?

    Posted 07-11-2022 03:32 PM

       Israel has been decades ahead of everyone else in desalination projects, even before renewable energy sources.  So they might be a good source of research information.
       And there have been water storage solutions for energy in the U.S.  In 1970 I was involved in control systems drawings for Duke Power's Oconee Nuclear Power station at Oconee, South Carolina.  That is the first time I heard of a system to pump water up behind a dam during off-peak hours and released through turbines during peak load hours.  Compared to some that could exist now or will be built, it was somewhat small.  But it was effective in allowing the nuclear plant to not have to ramp up or slow down production, which for nuclear plants (as well as fossil fuel power generation plants), is very inefficient.  
       So the combination of large renewable energy source facilities (assuming of course, combined with lithium battery storage systems) with water desalination and pumping the clean water upstream behind high dams and electric generation turbines would be an extremely valuable project in California.  Especially so since it could also provide clean water to solve some of California's water shortage.  (Diamond Lake southeast of  LA would be a prime example of how to create a lake where appropriate surrounding mountains exist.  Right now, Diamond Lake principally relies on rainwater.)

    Henry Stinson

  • 3.  RE: SCOTUS ruling a blow to the EPA, boon to the Department of Defense?

    Posted 07-18-2022 10:34 PM

    Hi Henry,


    I hope I am using this forum correctly Mr Stinson.

    I would like to thank you for your previous advice and to update you on current concepts for the Power and Water Park at Camp Pendelton. I have attached a few pictures below of contour maps to scale with relative locations and sizes of reservoirs, the pumped hydroelectric station and the desalination plant.


    The hydroelectric pumped storage would be working with desalinated very clean water likely provided by Poseidon who owns and runs the largest desalination plant in the US at Carlsbad CA, about 12 miles to the south.


    The upper reservoir of desalinated water would be about 350 to 400 meters above the lower one at an excavated Horno Canyon.  The upper reservoir would occupy over 2 square kilometers and be about 10 meters deep, about 20,000,000 cubic meters. The upper and lower reservoirs may take a month or more to fill with the clean water. Once the lower reservoir at Horno

    Canyon is full enough it can supply local communities with fresh water. Distribution reservoirs are only a few miles away.


    One cubic meter of water elevated to about 370 meters provides or requires about one kilowatt hour. The upper desal reservoir would have about 20 million kilowatt hours of potential energy. It could retain ample reserves and deliver 8 million kilowatt hours to the grid between the peak demand hours of 5PM to 9PM. This would require a two-gigawatt pumped hydroelectric station and transmission lines like those used by the nearby San Onofre nuclear plant.


    The existing Poseidon desalination Plant in Carlsbad produces 50 million gallons of desalinated drinking water to the local distribution system that includes San Diego and other communities, about 10 percent of the county's supply.

    50 million gallons is about 227,000 cubic meters (220 gallons per cubic meter). The proposed plan may allow for doubling that daily production.


    The creation of a proposed San Onofre Lagoon with a sea wall running parallel to the shore and about 150 meters from the beach is being proposed for several reasons:

    At other desalination plants the places where the facilities interface with the ocean have presented problems. A 25-foot sea wall can provide screening over the entry points that is easily operated and easily cleaned of debris larger than a few millimeters and watertight gates there which could control the many points of seawater entry, exit and flow through the lagoon. These would be mounted on the ocean side. Entry and exit openings would be a few feet below low tide level. Water inside the lagoon would be further screened and cleaned of material larger than half a millimeter before it enters the pumping stations.


    The seawall not only avoids problems with hard to anticipate environmental effects and ocean organisms it also provides a stable platform for the installation of wind turbines and very simple seawater piston pumps on the seawall that should be able to pump first-stage filtered water onshore to a few reservoirs at a height of about 100 to 120 meters above sea level. The first-filtered water can then be filtered through charcoal, then sand and gravel filters to make second-stage clean salty water that flows into lower reservoirs about 10 meters below. The clean salty water would be pumped the remaining 300 meters or so to a "clean salty reservoir" at 400 to 450 meters above sea level using renewable energy sourced electric pumps. The clean salty water would have most of the pressure needed for the reverse osmosis and so provide significant savings to Poseidon that it may be able to pass on to its customers.


    Nearly all of the proposed San Onofre Lagoon and its beach should still be accessible for safe recreation.


    I am working on gathering more information from engineers at Poseidon as to current planning for such a project, its benefits, any drawbacks, and any insights they can provide regarding the financing, public, private, or state or federal governments.


    I have attached a link to an article by experts from 2019 advocating a pumped hydro storage facility at San Onofre you might find interesting.





    Your input last time was helpful. I hope you can make time to go over the current concepts and help me with further evaluation.


    David Short