CHP power supplying Electricity, Heat & CO2 to accelerate vegetable growth at indoor Greenhouse

March 14, 2022
The gas-fired combined heat and power plant adjacent to the greenhouse will power open loop heat pumps to warm the structure, as well as feed LED lighting which could accelerate plant growth and increase year-around yields by 27 percent

Utility infrastructure provider Fulcrum has completed a 5.5 million Euro ($6M U.S.) combined heat and power (CHP) project to electrify a 22-hectare (54 acres) vegetable growing facility in the United Kingdom.

The CHP supports Greencoat Capital’s massive greenhouse near Ely, Cambridgeshire. The greenhouse has capacity to grow 10 percent of the cucumber market in Britain, according to the report.

Fulcrum engineers built out more than 21 kilometers in natural gas, water and electric cable infrastructure. Group partners Maintech and Dunamis joined with Fulcrum and constructed a 33-kV substation in seven weeks.

The substation is connected to the CHP Energy Centre adjacent to the greenhouse (see example in image gallery). It will power open loop heat pumps to warm the structure, as well as LED lighting which could accelerate plant growth and increase year-around yields by 27 percent.

“The greenhouse highlights the synergy that can exist between traditional and renewable energy resources to achieve production capabilities while reducing emissions,” Fulcrum CEO Antony Collins said. “The greenhouse’s integral role in the production of vegetables for the UK market drove tight deliver timescales, which we worked incredibly hard to achieve.”

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CHP plants provide both electricity and heat from the generation process. In the Greencoat Capital example, this plant also captures carbon dioxide produced by the gas-fired units and supports grown of the vegetables.

Ely is the third renewably heated greenhouse developed by Greencoat. Fulcrum partnered with AGR Renewables to complete the project.

About the Author

EnergyTech Staff

Rod Walton is senior editor for He has spent 14 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist.

Walton formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

He can be reached at [email protected]

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