Canadian tomato glasshouse to tie in with ethanol plant

A £40m, 35ha tomato glasshouse project in Canada will harness surplus heat and carbon dioxide from a nearby ethanol plant, reducing heating costs by 40 per cent.

Expected to take 10 years to complete, the partnership between Cedarline Greenhouses and Greenfield Ethanol in Ontario, will yield 21,000 tonnes of tomatoes a year when in full production and will employ 90 staff.

Though mild by Canadian standards, the municipality experiences three months a year of subzero daily mean temperatures.

Meanwhile, North Dakota State University in even chillier Fargo, USA, has unveiled a £20m research glasshouse complex that it claims is the most advanced in the world. Featuring 66 compartments, each with its own independently controlled heat and relative humidity, it also incorporates biosecurity measures.

Surplus summer heat is stored underground and drawn on in winter, and the complex also features automatic thermal screens and supplemental low-wattage lighting as well as deflectors to concentrate light on the plants, while the acrylic panes have already withstood 80mph gales.


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