In Essex County, Ont., the nighttime sky glows orange and greenhouses dominate the landscape.
In Essex County, Ont., the nighttime sky glows orange and greenhouses dominate the landscape. It’s the result of the rapidly growing greenhouse industry in Ontario, one that took up almost 1,800 hectares of land and paid close to $194 million for energy in 2021, according to Statistics Canada.
But in Essex County, a hotspot for greenhouse-grown fruits, vegetables and flowers, energy is still in short supply.
“There are growers who want more greenhouses,” said Dr. William David Lubitz, a professor in the School of Engineering at the University of Guelph’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences. “Right now, however, there are limits on hooking up large electricity users because the local grid is maxed out at its peak.
“They’re trying to expand the capacity for gas and electricity down there, but frankly, it’s stretched.”
So how can this growing industry optimize its energy use? That’s the question behind Lubitz’s research and latest project development: a model programmed to simulate greenhouse energy use and growing conditions in order to help producers save energy and money.
Read more at University of Guelph
Photo Credit: Veryhuman via Wikimedia Commons