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Title: Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination--Regional Potable Water in Arizona

Abstract

The present study analyzes the economic viability of an Integrated Energy System (IES) that couples a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water desalination facility with a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). The case study is conducted in collaboration with Arizona Public Service (APS), the operating owner of the Palo Verde Generating Station (PVGS) NPP. A challenge APS is facing is that their cooling water acquisition contract with the Sub Regional Operating Group (SROG) will expire soon and a renewal can only be done for a significantly higher price of the water. Therefore, APS is seeking alternative sources for their cooling water. One opportunity is to pump brackish water from the regional ground water. Although much less expensive than the water from the new SROG contract, the salinity of the brackish water is so high that a blend of brackish and SROG water will need additional treatment to improve its quality for use in the PVGS cooling towers. A study has been conducted in 2018 at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to investigate the economics of an PVGS onsite RO desalination plant that would reduce the salinity of a SROG and brackish water blend to an acceptable level. One of the main findings of thatmore » study was that the overall economics of water desalination can be greatly improved if, in addition to cooling water for PVGS, potable water could also be produced and sold for profit. In fact, the study concluded that only producing cooling water for PVGS via RO desalination is not economically viable compared to buying all needed cooling water from the SROG. The present report investigates the economic impact of a large, regional RO desalination plant that could provide potable water for the region, considering the conclusions from last year’s scoping study. The study looks in particular at the water-market situation in the West Valley of Phoenix; i.e., in the area of the municipalities of Buckeye, Goodyear, Avondale and Tolleson. In addition to providing potable water for the adjacent municipalities, the concentrate from the regional RO plant would be taken and treated by PVGS to provide some cooling water for a (hopefully) lower cost than that of the SROG water. Furthermore, a cost structure could be put in place for the treatment of the concentrate from the regional RO that would offset some of the water acquisition cost for APS. The analysis used the Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy System (N-R HES) software framework, which was developed at INL in 2016. The framework has reached some level of maturity, such that it can be applied to more than simple demonstration cases; i.e., real industry problems. The analysis in this report considers two cases (for various scenarios): First, the Base Case is the most economic one for APS, as no RO is built, i.e. the case for which cooling water acquisition and treatment cost are lowest. The 2018 INL study showed that some brackish water can be blended with the effluent SROG water without having to build the onsite RO. The Base Case is where APS pumps the maximum volume of less-expensive brackish water (limited by water chemistry in the cooling towers), blends it with the effluent from the SROG, and no RO is built. Second, the proposed RO Case includes two RO plants, one onsite at PVGS and another larger, regional one close to the brackish water wells. The regional RO produces potable water that is sold to the regional municipalities, while the PVGS RO onsite treats (part of) the regional ROs' concentrate and brackish water blend. The desalinated water from the PVGS RO is used in the cooling towers at PVGS. The analysis evaluates the difference in economics, using the Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR), between the cases. By comparing the two cases, in addition to evaluating the economics of the regional RO, we can also assess the impact of the regional RO on PVGS and consequently APS economics. The study shows that (for the Base Case) to offset the treatment cost for the RO concentrate, the cost of concentrate treatment to be paid by the regional RO to APS would be between 5 – 35 $/m3 of concentrate (depending on the regional RO size envisaged). Correspondingly, the Levelized Cost of Potable Water (LCOPW), which is the average or unit cost, for the regional RO is in the 0.55 – 0.6 $/m3 range of potable water. Or, considering the residential water demand model developed for the Phoenix West Valley, the NPV of the regional RO would be between $20 and 100 billion.« less

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1];  [1]; ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Idaho National Laboratory
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Idaho National Lab. (INL), Idaho Falls, ID (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Nuclear Energy (NE)
OSTI Identifier:
1597896
Report Number(s):
INL/EXT-20-55736-Rev001
DOE Contract Number:  
DE-AC07-05ID14517
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
97 - MATHEMATICS AND COMPUTING; Integrated Energy System (IES); Reverse Osmosis (RO); Nuclear Power Plant (NPP); Arizona Public Service (APS); Palo Verde Generating Station (PVGS) NPP

Citation Formats

Epiney, Aaron S, Richards, James D, Hansen, Jason K, Talbot, Paul W, Burli, Pralhad Hanumant, Rabiti, Cristian, and Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M. Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination--Regional Potable Water in Arizona. United States: N. p., 2019. Web. doi:10.2172/1597896.
Epiney, Aaron S, Richards, James D, Hansen, Jason K, Talbot, Paul W, Burli, Pralhad Hanumant, Rabiti, Cristian, & Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M. Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination--Regional Potable Water in Arizona. United States. doi:10.2172/1597896.
Epiney, Aaron S, Richards, James D, Hansen, Jason K, Talbot, Paul W, Burli, Pralhad Hanumant, Rabiti, Cristian, and Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M. Sun . "Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination--Regional Potable Water in Arizona". United States. doi:10.2172/1597896. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1597896.
@article{osti_1597896,
title = {Case Study: Integrate Nuclear Water Desalination--Regional Potable Water in Arizona},
author = {Epiney, Aaron S and Richards, James D and Hansen, Jason K and Talbot, Paul W and Burli, Pralhad Hanumant and Rabiti, Cristian and Bragg-Sitton, Shannon M},
abstractNote = {The present study analyzes the economic viability of an Integrated Energy System (IES) that couples a Reverse Osmosis (RO) water desalination facility with a Nuclear Power Plant (NPP). The case study is conducted in collaboration with Arizona Public Service (APS), the operating owner of the Palo Verde Generating Station (PVGS) NPP. A challenge APS is facing is that their cooling water acquisition contract with the Sub Regional Operating Group (SROG) will expire soon and a renewal can only be done for a significantly higher price of the water. Therefore, APS is seeking alternative sources for their cooling water. One opportunity is to pump brackish water from the regional ground water. Although much less expensive than the water from the new SROG contract, the salinity of the brackish water is so high that a blend of brackish and SROG water will need additional treatment to improve its quality for use in the PVGS cooling towers. A study has been conducted in 2018 at Idaho National Laboratory (INL) to investigate the economics of an PVGS onsite RO desalination plant that would reduce the salinity of a SROG and brackish water blend to an acceptable level. One of the main findings of that study was that the overall economics of water desalination can be greatly improved if, in addition to cooling water for PVGS, potable water could also be produced and sold for profit. In fact, the study concluded that only producing cooling water for PVGS via RO desalination is not economically viable compared to buying all needed cooling water from the SROG. The present report investigates the economic impact of a large, regional RO desalination plant that could provide potable water for the region, considering the conclusions from last year’s scoping study. The study looks in particular at the water-market situation in the West Valley of Phoenix; i.e., in the area of the municipalities of Buckeye, Goodyear, Avondale and Tolleson. In addition to providing potable water for the adjacent municipalities, the concentrate from the regional RO plant would be taken and treated by PVGS to provide some cooling water for a (hopefully) lower cost than that of the SROG water. Furthermore, a cost structure could be put in place for the treatment of the concentrate from the regional RO that would offset some of the water acquisition cost for APS. The analysis used the Nuclear-Renewable Hybrid Energy System (N-R HES) software framework, which was developed at INL in 2016. The framework has reached some level of maturity, such that it can be applied to more than simple demonstration cases; i.e., real industry problems. The analysis in this report considers two cases (for various scenarios): First, the Base Case is the most economic one for APS, as no RO is built, i.e. the case for which cooling water acquisition and treatment cost are lowest. The 2018 INL study showed that some brackish water can be blended with the effluent SROG water without having to build the onsite RO. The Base Case is where APS pumps the maximum volume of less-expensive brackish water (limited by water chemistry in the cooling towers), blends it with the effluent from the SROG, and no RO is built. Second, the proposed RO Case includes two RO plants, one onsite at PVGS and another larger, regional one close to the brackish water wells. The regional RO produces potable water that is sold to the regional municipalities, while the PVGS RO onsite treats (part of) the regional ROs' concentrate and brackish water blend. The desalinated water from the PVGS RO is used in the cooling towers at PVGS. The analysis evaluates the difference in economics, using the Net Present Value (NPV) and Internal Rate of Return (IRR), between the cases. By comparing the two cases, in addition to evaluating the economics of the regional RO, we can also assess the impact of the regional RO on PVGS and consequently APS economics. The study shows that (for the Base Case) to offset the treatment cost for the RO concentrate, the cost of concentrate treatment to be paid by the regional RO to APS would be between 5 – 35 $/m3 of concentrate (depending on the regional RO size envisaged). Correspondingly, the Levelized Cost of Potable Water (LCOPW), which is the average or unit cost, for the regional RO is in the 0.55 – 0.6 $/m3 range of potable water. Or, considering the residential water demand model developed for the Phoenix West Valley, the NPV of the regional RO would be between $20 and 100 billion.},
doi = {10.2172/1597896},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {2019},
month = {9}
}

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