Dec 20, 2010

URS Selected as Solar Power Consultant for Texas Desalination Plant

Company will determine which solar technologies best suit the plant

URS Corp. was selected by the El Paso (Texas) Water Utilities (EPWU) as the solar power consultant for the world's largest inland brackish water desalination plant.

El Paso's Kay Bailey Hutchison Desalination Plant has the capacity to produce 27.5 million gal of fresh water daily, making it a critical component of the region's water portfolio. The URS project will allow two of the plant's five treatment trains–each requiring 500 kW–to eventually run on solar power. The project is being carried out jointly by EPWU and Ft. Bliss, a U.S. Army Post in El Paso.

The URS team will do a cost-benefit analysis of different solar technologies, including a life cycle cost analysis. URS will develop performance specifications for companies that want to bid on the project, and will review the technical aspects of any bids received. In addition, URS will also help the EPWU explore partnerships with private companies and other agencies to lower project cost and find ways to pay for the project.