- Use of non-potable water such as brackish ocean water or grey water from sewage treatment plants.
- Investing in new cooling technologies that require less water.
- Reuse of water in cooling and boiler systems in generating stations.
- Increased investment and production from solar and wind sources.
At NRG’s El Segundo plant in California, for example, the plant’s units 1 and 2 used to rely on ocean water for cooling purposes, but in 2013, NRG demolished the units and installed new generators with dry-air cooling technology, eliminating the need for ocean water.
The company’s plants last year produced 135 million TWh of electricity and withdrew about 13 billion cubic meters of water. NRG says almost all — more than 98 percent — of the water is discharged into the same body of water from which it is drawn.
NRG has set a goal to reduce its carbon dioxide emissions 50 percent by 2030 and 90 percent by 2050 below a 2014 baseline.