The Australian-Singaporean developer of Australia’s first floating solar project says ist showpiece 4 MW water treatment plant in South Australia will be scaleable to clients worldwide.

In a radio interview with Australian station ABC Radio National today (Friday), Infratech Industries’ Felicia Whiting said the company already has clients lined up in the U.S.

The waste water treatment plant installation, near Jamestown, South Australia offers the triple benefit of supplying enough solar power to drive the water treatment process as well as halting most of the 2.5m per year of water lost to evaporation and halting the problematic appearance of blue-green algae on the treated water.

According to a report accompanying the interview on the station’s website, the showpiece facility will be operational next month and Infratech director of projects Whiting confirmed construction is about to begin on the site after two years of R&D work by the company on less sophisticated projects in Europe.

Whiting said the 900 panels floating on three ponds at the site are up to 57% more efficient in the hottest temperatures thanks to the cooling effect of the water. The presence of the panels on top of the ponds prevents up to 90 per cent of the evaporation that would otherwise occur and the lack of blue-green algae means energy from the sun is processed by the panels rather than the water.

Whiting said the project is being funded by Infratech and a PPA agreed with local authority the Northern Areas Council and said the plant will generate enough excess electricity to power all the businesses in nearby Jamestown, which have enthusiatically backed the scheme.