Point Paterson Desalination Plant
|Point Paterson Desalination Plant|
|Location||Port Augusta, South Australia|
|Estimated output||15 megalitres per day|
|Extended output||123 megalitres per day|
|Energy generation offset||Solar Thermal Generation on site|
|Cost offsets||Salt Harvesting|
|Technology||Multi Effects and Reverse Osmosis|
|Percent of water supply||More than 100% of Spencer Gulf (residential supply)|
|Operation date||Project not started yet|
The Point Paterson Desalination Plant is a planned municipal-scale solar-powered desalination plant with land-based brine disposal just outside Port Augusta, South Australia. The Point Paterson Project utilises a salt flat owned by a salt company but which has not been in use for solar salt production for decades. The plant will integrate renewable energy and desalination technologies to create environmentally-friendly electricity and water. In particular, the project will significantly reduce the usual greenhouse impacts associated with grid electricity demand for desalination. The project had attracted the interest of internationally renowned climatologist, the late Professor Stephen Schneider, who joined the Board of Acquasol in 2006.
Once the plant is built, it is expected to produce 5.5 gigalitres of water per year, enough to supply the needs of 34,000 people. Port Augusta (13,257 people) will receive 2 gigalitres per year free of cost during the first two years of the plant's operation. The plant will be configured to expand if need be, with a potential output of 45 gigalitres per year.
As the plant will be built on the site of a salt pan, brine wastewater from the desalination process will be diverted onto the pan rather than pumped back into the gulf. Once the brine evaporates, the remaining salt will be harvested and sold. The profits from the salt harvesting will be used to offset the cost of the desalination process while simultaneously preventing wastewater from being pumped back into the Spencer Gulf.