Cogeneration, also called combined heat and power (CHP), is the use of a reciprocating engine to generate electricity and produce useful heat at the same time. In our case, Soave Cogeneration’s system is actually a trigeneration system – producing electricity for the grid, useful heat for our greenhouses, and CO2 for plant fertilization.
Partnering with Soave Cogeneration, we are able to off-set our energy costs and help the environment — while delivering 12 megawatts of energy back to the Ontario power grid to power 15,000 Canadian homes. Great Northern Hydroponics is the first greenhouse application in North America to successfully install a cogeneration system of this capacity, and to implement it with their cultivation acreage.
In 2008 we installed four gas-powered GE-Jenbacher JMS 620 engines and retrofitted the original greenhouse. This system also includes heat recovery, exhaust treatment, and noise abatement technologies. Altogether, this system creates:
- CO2 — a manifold system collects carbon dioxide from the engines and boilers, preparing it to help fertilize the crops in the greenhouses.
- Heat produced by the boilers and the engine cooling system helps to heat the greenhouse to reduce energy input costs.
- Electricity — each of the four 20-cylinder engines generate 3 Megawatts of electricity, which is directed to the power grid.
Want to learn more about our cogeneration system? Learn more from detailed infographic.