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Sundrop Farm Solar Thermal Plant

As part of a plan to build eight greenhouses, totalling 20 hectares, Sundrop Farms is proposing to install 36MWth of solar-thermal energy to heat the greenhouses and desalinate water from Spencer Gulf.

In August 2014, the plan was approved by the Port Augusta Council, subject to conditions.

The solar thermal plant will consist of a solar tower which will contain a boiler to generate steam. The steam will be condensed into hot water to heat a 22,000 cubic metre hot water storage tank. This will be used to heat a closed loop system of hot water that transfers heat to the greenhouses. After being circulated through the greenhouses the water is returned to the hot water storage tank for reheating.

Some of the stored heat will also be used to distil seawater into fresh water for the plants in the greenhouses.

The steam will also be used to turn a turbine that powers a generator, producing up to 1.5MW of electricity to run the site.

Erection of the solar-receiver tower was completed in March 2016.

Company: Sundrop Farms

Capacity (MW): 1.5 (36MW thermal)

Status: Operating

Start Year: 2016

Technology: Solar Thermal

Fuel: Solar

Source of Information: Sundrop Farms website (September 2014)


  • Augusta Highway
    Port Patterson, South Australia 5700

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