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The greenest of greenhouses?

23 August 2012

Houweling’s, a leading North American greenhouse operator, has unveiled a new onsite power plant project that captures carbon dioxide for plant fertilisation.

The power plant employs two GE Jenbacher turbocharged natural gas engines, which generate 8.7MW to provide all of the electricity, heat, and CO2 for a 125-acre greenhouse.

This is believed to be the first greenhouse combined heat and power plant project in the US and by reducing energy consumption, reusing heat and recycling CO2, the plant reaches an overall efficiency of nearly 100 percent.

“The beauty of this project is that 90 percent of the energy from the engines is being converted into something useful,” says Scott Nolen, product line management leader for GE Gas engines.

With a start-up time of five minutes, the plant generates enough energy to give power to the grid during peak energy demand.

Houweling also plans to use the water condensed from the engine exhaust gas in the greenhouse irrigation system - some 9,500 gallons per day. 

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