Caterpillar cogeneration facility to power greenhouse

Canadian greenhouse vegetable grower-shipper SunSelect Produce is partnering with Caterpillar to boost its business.

The Delta, British Columbia-based company plans to build a greenhouse next to a Caterpillar cogeneration facility in Mossville, Illinois, and use the excess energy and carbon dioxide generated at the facility to run the greenhouse.
Tomatoes in greenhouse
“We’re optimistic about what this project will mean for our local community, bringing new jobs to the area and a new option for locally-grown produce to consumers,” Frank Crespo, a Caterpillar vice president, said in the release.

The SunSelect greenhouse would produce vegetables year-round, serve as the company’s Midwest hub for production and distribution and add up to 300 permanent jobs.

“This collaboration is a significant step in our long-term growth strategy,” Reinhold Krahn, SunSelect’s director, said in the release. “Building on our existing distribution footprint, this Midwest base will allow us to expand our ability to grow fresh and healthy vegetables, safely and responsibly, on the smallest amount of land possible.”

SunSelect will purchase real estate adjacent to Caterpillar’s energy generation facility, Advanced Tri-Gen Power Systems (ATPS), to construct a hydroponic greenhouse. The greenhouse is expected to utilize excess thermal energy and carbon dioxide from ATPS’s natural gas fired turbines.

By providing low grade heat and abundant CO2, the collaboration will maximize healthy plant production in the SunSelect facility and allow for more efficient use of Caterpillar’s power generation plant.

The deal could close in the second quarter of 2016.

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