Sundrop Farms in Australia uses solar thermal to desalinate sea water for use in their greenhouses. The solar thermal also generates enough electricity to power the entire facility. 180,000 tomatoes are grown without soil in greenhouses in an extremely arid area.
The photo shows desalination ponds and water reclamation in the front left, solar thermal mirrors in the front right, which reflect the heat of the sun to the central tower which powers the turbines, and the greenhouses in the back. The facility cost $200 million to build, which while certainly not cheap, shows how produce can be sustainably grown in unforgiving climates.
In 2014, we broke ground on a 20 hectare greenhouse which was completed in 2016. It uses a state-of-the-art solar tower to produce energy to power the plant growing systems and to heat and cool the greenhouses as required. It is 115m high and has 23,000 mirrors pointed at it. Our water once again comes from the Spencer Gulf, and is desalinated using our cutting edge thermal desalination plant.
All this technology goes into growing delicious tomatoes for Coles Supermarket, which can be found in stores nationwide.