AppHarvest, Morehead, Ky., announced plans to outfit its 60-acre greenhouse in Morehead, Ky., with a $15 million hybrid LED lighting system, making it what is said to be the world’s largest LED installation for a single building.
Through a partnership with Equilibrium, San Francisco, the state-of-the-art greenhouse will utilize Philips GreenPower LEDs from Signify Agriculture Lighting, Somerset, N.J., to grow tomatoes and cucumbers. The structure is projected to open in the second half of 2020.
This cutting-edge hybrid system dramatically reduces energy usage and increases yields. The Philips GreenPower LEDs, which are 40% more efficient than typical greenhouse lighting, will be paired with Agrolux high-pressure sodium (HPS) lamps. The LEDs will be used in warmer fall and spring months to grow more produce, and during colder months, both the LEDs and HPS lamps will be used to help warm the greenhouse and reduce natural gas usage. AppHarvest produce will be distributed through partner Mastronardi Produce, Canada.
Dalsem Complete Greenhouse Projects, the Netherlands, will install the LEDs and oversee construction of the 2,762,073-square-foot greenhouse.
“This LED installation reinforces how our Farming Now movement uses proven technology to grow more fresh food with far less resources,” says Jonathan Webb, founder and CEO of AppHarvest. “Eastern Kentucky is mobilizing to lead the real food revolution and become the AgTech capital of America. This is Farming Now.”
“This $15 million lighting deal is the latest example of how farming is undergoing a profound shift to utilize more capital and production infrastructure,” adds Marco de Bruin, senior principal, Equilibrium. “The result is better meeting the demands of consumers, retailers and food processors for more reliable, year-round, fresher and sustainable foods.”
“Dalsem has helped build nearly 1,500 projects over the course of our 87 years of experience, and the scope of AppHarvest’s greenhouse and its leading technology make it unlike any other,” says Jan Pieter Dalsem, managing director, Dalsem Complete Greenhouse Projects.
“We’re very excited about our collaboration with AppHarvest and Equilibrium,” says Bill Bien, chief executive officer, Signify. “It’s great to work with partners just as committed to sustainable horticulture as we are, and we’re looking forward to helping them increase growth predictability, crop quality and yields, while improving their energy efficiency.”