“It’s just a better business decision,” Carpenter said. “It’s now or never on Aquaria. … What we’re proposing is 0 percent uncertainty, and 100 percent equity.”

Farwell, however, said there is some uncertainty with the Aquaria option as well. He pointed to electricity costs as an example, referring to an analysis completed last year by the city-contracted firm CDM Smith. Although Brockton would be immune from three years from electricity rate increases, after that an increase of just $0.01 in the electricity rate would spike the operating costs of the Aquaria plant by $50,000, the CDM Smith report states.
“Further, if rates rise by 30 percent as has been forecast in the industry, the city could expect to incur an additional cost of approximately $185,000 per year,” said CDM Smith, noting in its report that average Brockton rates are currently at $0.13 per kilowatt hour.

That electricity is a big factor because “it takes a lot of juice to do reverse osmosis,” Farwell said.