The first ever solar-powered desalination plant in South Africa is set for commissioning in October this year. The launching of the highly cost effective plant will take place at Witsand, in the Hessequa municipality, in the Western Cape.
French company Mascara Renewable Water developed a technology to be used on the plant, OSMOSUN technology which was brought to South Africa by its local partner Turnkey Water Solutions (TWS). It is the world’s first reverse osmosis desalination technology coupled with photovoltaic solar energy without batteries.
The daily solar powered production capacity of the OSMOSUN® is of 100m3, with the possibility to increase that production to 300m3 by running the unit besides sunlight hours through the connection to the local electricity grid. This feature will be used during peak holiday period specifically.
The technology is designed to supply coastal or borehole dependent communities with drinking water at a competitive price which does not have carbon dioxide emissions.
Turnkey Water Solutions Chief Executive officer and founder Patrice Boyer confirmed the news and explained that an intelligent system of membranes enables the plant to cope with variations in solar power availability.
He further said that all parameters are instantly optimized so as to guarantee the best energy performance. It also ensures a maximum lifetime of both installation and membranes.
This project is the first of among four in the South African pipeline and is co-funded by the Western Cape government through the drought relief fund and also by the French Treasury, through a fund dedicated to the implementation of innovative green technologies.
Mascara Renewable Water specializes in innovative water treatment solutions with the use of renewable energy. TWS is an independent company specializing in water management and dedicated to the agriculture, industry, tourism and small communities’ sectors.