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The Farm that can Harness Solar Power

The rising population of the world is creating a challenge for farmers. They have to produce more food to meet the demands of the people.
 
This challenge will be hard with outdated farming methods and limited resources. Sundrop Farm created a sustainable agriculture method with solar power and seawater.
 
The facility is in Augusta; South Australia. It is the first farm to harness the power of solar energy. Philipp Saumweber founded the farm and began the project in 2010. By 2014, it has a 50- acre facility where 18000 tons of tomatoes are grown in a year.
 

The system of the farm

The facility is a mile and a half from the Spencer Gulf. There is an underground pipeline that pumps water into the desalination unit. The desalination takes place by thermal energy. There are 23000 mirrors that reflect the sunlight on a 375-foot-tall tower.
 
There is a light on top of the tower where all the thermal energy gathers. The tower has the capacity to produce 390 megawatts of electricity on a sunny day. This gives power to the desalination unit as well to the entire farm. When the weather is cloudy or rainy the excess thermal energy gets stored up for future use.
 
The fertilizers and micronutrients get added to the water during the desalination process. They don’t promote the use of pesticides. As the water goes through the air filters, it kills insects and pests.
 
The high salt content in the water-saturated air proves beneficial in destroying pests. The water finally hydrates the tomato plants, which are grown in tomato husks.
 

Farm saving non-renewable resources

Sundrop Farm has many advantages over other methods of agriculture. One of them is the use of renewable resources for agriculture. It does not use any soil, fossil, groundwater, or pesticides to grow vegetables. The farm uses coconut husks instead of soil, loses its fertility, and becomes barren.
 
The farm saves the fertility of the soil by substituting it with a unique source. Pesticides also poses a threat to the soil and increase its salinity. The farm doesn’t use pesticides. It kills the insects during the desalination process. It allows the plant to grow in its natural environment.
 
Groundwater is becoming scarce because of the rising population. They altogether do not use any groundwater for their irrigation and use seawater.
 
The process of salination also uses renewable resources. They do not use fossil for electricity production but use thermal energy from the sun. The plants are also not destroyed because they grow in an indoor facility. 
 
The company has spent 200 million dollars on this project. In 2016, they started two new facilities in Portugal and the United States. They have their officers in London, New York, and Adelaide.
 
The usage of all these renewable resources makes the farm sustainable for the future. They have a ten-year contract with the supermarket operator, Coles. They would sell the tomatoes.
 
The chief technical officer at the Sundrop Farm is Reinier Wolterbeek. He said, “We knew that considering the increase in population that we had to address the food shortage.”
 
Their primary aim is to provide food to the world’s growing population. Sundrop Farm with its new technology will help many problems related to agriculture.
 

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