With the construction of a $30 million facility, the Sahara Forest Project, funded by the Norwegian Foreign Ministry, plans to bring solar power, desalination and crop growth to the arid deserts of Tunisia.
Tunisia, itself, is made up of about 75% desert and the country is not known for its farming capability.
The project is slated to cover 10 hectares and be completed in 2018. It is expected to at least have the success rate that a similar facility had in Qatar, producing vegetables at a "comparable rate to European farms."
The facility functions by integrating solar power and desalination tech. Seawater cools and humidifies the building. The salt is removed from the water and sold, while the fresh water is used to irrigate crops 365 days a year. The water can also be used for drinking.
Concentrated, mirrored, solar power produces enough heat to boil water and crank steam turbines for electricity to keep the operation moving.
Though the country only got 1% of their 2015 power from renewable sources, they plan to collect 30% from renewables by 2030.
The Sahara Forest Project continues to develop facilities like this in other countries, including Jordan, and another plant is in development that would supply 170,000 tons of food every year.
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