Tomorrow’s agricultural systems could look vastly different than today’s farms as food demand goes up and agricultural land becomes more scarce. That’s forcing companies to look to growing food more quickly and less expensively. A new, $17 million, photovoltaic-powered 5-acre greenhouse project in Ohio for GH Farms Group might be a good example of what’s possible.
"We are very pleased to be moving forward with the vegetable-growing sector of our operations," said Greengro Technologies CEO James Haas. "Our indoor growing technologies have enormous potential across many types of agriculture applications and we expect to become a major competitor in the space."
Construction on the 254,528 sq. ft. photovoltaic (PV), solar-powered Greengro Technologies greenhouse, is expected to begin in the third quarter of 2018. The project will use Greengro Technologies’ subsidiary Biodynamics' fully automated off-grid greenhouse technology to cultivate hydroponic vegetables in a controlled environment agriculture (CEA) system.
There are multiple ways that solar power can be used to help produce agriculture locally in every climate. For instance, in Alaska, a trailer was recently installed to provide locally produced food for Kotzebue and surrounding, remote areas. Greenhouse-type structures also have been used to concentrate solar for heating purposes to extract oil, like GlassPoint Solar is doing.
The market has potential. Referring to a report from Markets and Markets Research Greengro said the indoor farming market is expected to have an annual growth rate of 24.8 percent from 2016 to 2022. By 2022 it’s slated to become a $5.8 billion market.
"We welcome this opportunity to show that our greenhouses are the market's best—climate-controlled by a positive pressure HVAC system with water and nutrients managed by an IBM Watson AI computer-automated irrigation system," said Trisha Madden, Biodynamics’ CEO.
It’s actually at least the third project Greengro is developing in Ohio. Already it’s got a $25 million project with Global Renewable Resources (GRR) in Shaker Heights, Ohio. Land for the project was committed by The City of Warren, Ohio.
"The backers of this project are not shy about their intentions to confront the disturbing trend of population decline in this region," said Warren Mayor William Franklin. "With careful attention paid to the realities of our current commercial environment, this project helps to inject new opportunities in the community because it has the capability to create exceptional produce and services for a growing market. I support this development and look forward to working with GRR to realize the full potential of this project through land assembly and other supports."
Greengro also has completed project planning for the Foodraiser Project in Columbus, Ohio. Now Foodraiser has to respond with a timeline for the completion of land acquisition and financing.Tweet