Abstract A methodology to design desalinated water supply systems including solar energy as an energy source option is proposed. The methodology consists of two stages and uses a MINLP model. The objective of the first stage is to minimize the total cost of the whole system, while the objective of the second stage is to minimize the greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions related to desalinated water transport by considering the opportunity of installing photovoltaic panels. The MINLP model considers the installation and operation costs of the desalination plants, pumping stations, pipes, and photovoltaic panels. Moreover, it quantifies the GHG emissions produced by the construction and operation of these elements. The mathematical methodology was implemented in the GAMS environment, and the BARON solver was used to obtain the optimal global solution. The design of a desalinated water supply system in the Atacama Desert was considered as a case study to validate the applicability of the methodology proposed. Result of the case study showed that the incorporation of photovoltaic panels in the desalinated water supply system not only reduces the GHG emissions, but also the total costs of the whole system.

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