Adelaide Desalination Plant

Description of project Total: 200kWp/198kWAC Twin Rooftop Solar Power Stations
Client Adelaide Aqua Consortium subcontractor Built Environs;           Head client is SA Water
Location Adelaide Desalination Plant, Lonsdale, South Australia
Description of technology utilised Twin PV Arrays: First Solar CdTe thin film PV with three phase SMA inverter plant; power system monitoring
Value Total project CapEx $1.6m
Year Completed 2011


Adelaide Aqua is the company tasked with securing Adelaide’s long term water supply through the design, construction, operation and maintenance of the Adelaide Desalination Plant. The consortium approached Commsolar to develop a long-term durable PV solution that would continue to produce clean renewable energy for at least 20 years in a highly corrosive environment. The solution: twin 100kWp PV arrays utilising frameless thin film modules, one for each of the facility’s Reverse Osmosis Process Buildings, and the latest in three phase inverters with reactive power provision, backed up with a functional warranty for 20 years – Australia’s first commercial solar power system with a performance guarantee tied to long-term system durability. Power from the rooftop arrays will support local low voltage demand within each RO Process building.


The project required the Commsolar team to integrate the power system design and engineering seamlessly within the existing project’s Quality baseline, with particular attention to power quality within the RO Process buildings’ Low, Medium and High voltage distribution; as well as the selection of materials and components  that met or exceeded the project’s Durability Plan. The Adelaide Desalination Plant has a design life of 100 years, and Commsolar takes its commitment to engineering for long term durability seriously as evidenced by its unprecedented project warranties, and commitment to appropriate system maintenance.

The twin Solar Power Stations have been constructed, and are due for commissioning in July 2011.