Village Farms L.P., the Monahans, Texas-based subsidiary of Village Farms International, Inc. formed a partnership with SolarCity, San Mateo, Calif., and MP2 Energy, The Woodlands, Texas, to build a 2 megawatt solar array adjacent to Village Farm’s 30-acre Permian Basin Division greenhouse. The solar system is expected to provide the facility with nearly all of its daytime electricity needs and generate more than 82 million kilowatt-hours of power over the life of the system.
Through a power purchase agreement, Village Farms will pay SolarCity for the electricity the solar installation generates. The project allows Village Farms to fix its daytime electricity costs at a low rate, comparable to its current electricity rate, and avoid future increases in energy, demand or congestion charges.
The project will take advantage of net metering, which allows any solar power generation in excess of the greenhouse’s needs to be sold back to MP2 Energy, Village Farms’ power supplier. MP2 Energy will then credit Village Farms for the excess energy, and supply the remaining power to the site. The long term of the power purchase agreement and power supply will lock in low rates and protect Village Farms from future increases. The solar array system is also a notable new source of renewable power in Texas.
“We are excited to announce our next renewable energy development, which not only enhances one of our strategic priorities in supporting our core sustainable growing practices, but also locks in our daytime electricity costs at our Permian Basin facility, one of the world’s most advanced hi-tech greenhouses, for the next 20 years,” says Michael DeGiglio, chief executive officer of Village Farms. “I don’t know of any other controlled environmental growing facility globally whose electrical supply is provided from solar energy during the day and substantively from wind power during the night. It is also a progressive and great addition to our other renewable energy projects such as our British Columbia methane 7 Mw co-generation facility running at our VF Clean Energy powerhouse, as well as the Quadrogen fuel cell project which will produce hydrogen, CO2, heat and electricity once the project is completed. Growing fresh produce that is safe and great tasting, while using efficient and renewable energy and less water is what we do at Village Farms and we are proud to be good for the Earth.”
Village Farms is a producer, marketer and distributor of premium-quality, greenhouse-grown tomatoes, bell peppers and cucumbers in North America.