One of the Netherlands’ largest commercial tomato greenhouse operators Royal Pride Holland is using gas-fuelled reciprocating engines to supply 8 MW of heat and power, together with useful carbon dioxide, at its new greenhouse.

GE Energy, which supplied the two 4 MW Jenbacher J624 GS engines, says the cogeneration plant has a total efficiency level of 95%, adding that the installation was the world’s first to use 24 cylinder gas engines.

Located in Middenmeer, 50 km north of Amsterdam, the CHP units were installed as part of a pilot project to demonstrate the engine’s commercial viability for the horticultural industry. The high speed machine is expected to become commercially available in 2009.

The project allowed Royal Pride to expand the greenhouse to 102 hectares, up from the site’s original 45 ha, making it one of the largest facilities in the Netherlands.

In addition to supporting the greenhouse’s operations, surplus electricity from the plant is being delivered to the local grid.

Frank van Kleef, director of Royal Pride Holland commented: ‘The introduction of this new technology supports the commitment of our country’s horticultural industry to continuously improve the production and quality of its products for the global marketplace’, adding that the system allowed the company to ‘enhance our operational performance and overall competitive position.’