What do Tomatoes, Natural Gas, Water and Power Have in Common?

Energy, Power, Water and Fertilizer combine for a Grand Slam

They have two companies in common, GE and Houweling’s Tomatoes, a leading North American greenhouse grower. GE just announced a couple of weeks ago that Houweling's Tomatoes has started operations with an inventive and integrated Combined Heat and Power (CHP) installation using GE Turbocharged, natural gas fired engines coupled with a CO2 sequestering and purifying system which provides fertilizer for growing tomatoes. An added bonus is gathering the water vapor released in the combustion process and using that to help the tomatoes along as well.

There are more bonuses as well. The excess energy from the GE engines provides energy to the local power grid and offsets some the cost of running the system. Also, the captured combustion water also offsets water from the local groundwater system as well. this is the kind of distributed and integrated water/energy implementations which can benefit the business and the local community as well.
Here are the high-level benefits as I see them:
1. Lower cost of operation for the grower
2. Lower water demand from local sources
3. Increased and diversified energy production
4. reclamation  of typical energy and water put to work producing value
5. A diversified local economy creating new capital inside the community.
6. Higher overall air quality results for this business, creating better air quality for their region.

To get the full description hop over to the Distributed Energy blog.

This Article is part of a continuing series of articles on the Built Environment tying together Energy, Power, Water, Sustainability, Economic Stability and technology.

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