Bechtel Corporation studied the feasibility of a dual-purpose power and desalination plant capable of producing up to 150-mgd of fresh water and a large block of power for Southern California. The three major electric utilities in Southern California proposed that the power features be expanded to two NSSS, each capable of providing steam for generating approximately 750 MW of electricity in addition to the capacity to operate a 350-MW turbine generator which would exhaust into the heater of the flash evaporator system. Conclusions reached were that the lowest cost water, 22 cents per 1,000 U.S. gallons, would result if the facility were erected on a man made island about one kilometer from the shoreline. Studies made later indicated that a single-level desalting plant would probably be most appropriate and that electric motor drives for the large pumps would result in the lowest first cost and lowest operating cost. Hydraulic model studies and laboratory tests proved the island defense design to be stable against the maximum storm wave.

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