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Saudi Arabia will build the first batch of “solar dome” desalination plants.
The first “solar dome” project will start in February 2020 and is expected to be completed by the end of 2020.
The project will adopt “solar dome” technology, with which the cost of fresh water production is about US $0.34 per cubic meter, far lower than the production cost of reverse osmosis method adopted by desalination plant.
The technology will also produce higher concentration of brine, greatly reducing the impact on the environment. Concentrated brine is a potential harmful by-product in the process of fresh water extraction.
At present, neom has signed an agreement with solar water PLC in the UK to build the first batch of “solar dome” desalination plants in neom in northwest Saudi Arabia.
The pilot project aims to revolutionize desalination and help solve one of the world’s most pressing problems – access to fresh water.
“This pilot project adopted by Neo strongly supports the sustainable development goals set out in Saudi Arabia’s 2030 national water strategy and fully conforms to the sustainable development goals proposed by the United Nations,” said Abdulrahman al fadlidi, Minister of environment, water resources and agriculture of Saudi Arabia, during the evaluation of the project
Nadhemi al Nasr, CEO of neom, added: “easy access to large amounts of seawater and fully renewable energy resources means that neom can fully utilize solar desalination to produce low-cost, sustainable freshwater.
These technologies strongly demonstrate our commitment to supporting innovation, promoting environmental protection and providing a high degree of livability.
By working with the Ministry of environment, water resources and agriculture, we can extend this technology to areas outside of Neo. “
The breakthrough method developed by solar water at Cranfield University in the UK is the first large-scale use of concentrated solar energy (CSP) technology for seawater desalination.
In this process, seawater is injected into a hydraulic “solar dome” made of glass and steel, then heated, evaporated and finally precipitated into fresh water.
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Since solar energy generated throughout the day has been stored, the “solar dome” desalination process can also be carried out at night, which will reduce the total amount of salt water generated in the fresh water extraction process. Generally, the high concentration of salt in brine makes the treatment more difficult and costly.
Since no salt water is discharged into the sea, the solar dome process helps prevent any harm to marine life.
Because more than one billion people in the world can’t get clean water every day, the solar desalination project of neom will become a pilot case of other water deficient countries, which are trying to develop environmental friendly and sustainable fresh water resources.
David reavley, chief executive of solar water PLC, commented: “at present, thousands of desalination plants around the world rely heavily on burning fossil fuels to extract fresh water. In this process, excessive salt water pollutes our oceans.
Our breakthrough desalination technology is 100% carbon neutral and completely sustainable. In neom, we have found a partner who hopes that human beings and nature will live in harmony in the future. “