Equilibrium Capital and Houweling’s Group are continuing to enhance their sustainability profile with the announcement of an investment to retrofit their existing 28-acre Utah greenhouse with an advanced, hybrid LED system. The project, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Power, Hortipar Lighting Solutions and Philips lighting from Signify, is set to be completed by Q3 2021 and will significantly reduce the annual power consumption of the greenhouse.
“It is all about growing more with less resources,” says Kevin Doran, CEO of the Houweling’s Group. “With this investment in lighting, we expect to produce more sustainably grown, year round tomatoes for our customers in the region while at the same time reducing our electricity usage and CO2 emissions. With this LED technology installation, on top of our industry’s first CO2 and heat capture system connected to the adjacent PacifiCorp power plant, we believe it will make our Mona, Utah, greenhouse one of the most high-tech, sustainable greenhouses in North America.”
Sample hybrid lighting system
The fully integrated hybrid lighting system will be delivered by Hortipar Lighting Solutions, a leading Netherlands based lighting contractor. The project replaces 6,800 existing 1040 Watt high-pressure sodium (HPS) fixtures with industry leading 500 Watt Philips GreenPower LED toplighting compact grow lights with efficiency of 3.7 μmol per Joule. These grow lights draw approximately half the electricity while producing the same amount of light as HPS systems with less excess heat. More information on Philips GreenPower LED can be found here.
The project will reduce the electric demand of the facility by an estimated 25 percent and lead to an estimated savings of 10 million kWh per year, equivalent to the annual usage of approximately 1,200 households.
“Controlled environment agriculture creates opportunities to deliver enduring economic, environmental, and workforce impact,” says David Chen, CEO of Equilibrium Capital, a global leader in sustainable agriculture investing. “Our investment in the LED technology project reflects our commitment to stewardship of our energy resources, reduces our carbon footprint, and drives greenhouse productivity gains. This delivers our retailer partners resilience in their supply chain and our mountain state consumers higher quality regionally grown produce.”
“Rocky Mountain Power’s Wattsmart Business energy efficiency program is all about finding innovative ways to save energy,” Raenee Carlson, Wattsmart Business program manager. “This partnership with Houweling’s and Equilibrium is an ideal opportunity to improve efficiencies and support agricultural business in Utah.”
As part of the investment, the greenhouse will also be retrofitted with curtains to mitigate light that is currently being emitted from the facility. Once complete, limited light will be able to escape out of the roof of the greenhouses which will dramatically reduce impact on the neighboring cities of Mona and Nephi. “This is an important part of doing the right thing for communities we are proud to do business in,” says Chen.
Equilibrium and Houweling’s have also began land preparation for a 30-acre expansion of the greenhouse project which is expected to begin production in 2022. This will allow Houweling’s to further expand it’s offering of fresh 365-day-a-year produce to Utah and the greater Rocky Mountain region.
Beginning of site leveling in Mona, Utah
“Our decision to expand the Mona site reflects our long-term commitment to building a North American ag-tech production cluster in Utah,” says Chen.
For more information:
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