Exploring the Value of Cogeneration for Canadian Greenhouses

It’s time for greenhouse operators in Canada to really consider the immense advantages of CHP.
23 January, 2023 by
Exploring the Value of Cogeneration for Canadian Greenhouses
T&T Power Group.

Of the many industries that can benefit from CHP, greenhouses and grow ops certainly stand out considerably due to their specific needs and the nature (no pun intended) of their operations.

But first off: What exactly is CHP?

CHP, which stands for Combined Heat and Power, is a power generation system that provides facilities with power through the process of recapturing heat produced from the system to then be utilized for boiler systems, greenhouse, etc. But why would one choose CHP over other methods of power generation?

Well, CHP makes sense for a variety of reasons - and are even more fitting for the greenhouse industry.

For example, greenhouses or indoor grow ops have a significant need for heat, making CHP a very suitable option. And let’s not forget the ever-increasing cost of electricity in Canada. The rise shows no signs of slowing down, and if the global adjustment is withdrawn in a few years, rates will skyrocket even higher.

Furthermore, electrical generation alone is generally pegged around the 40% efficiency mark - but when heat recovery options are added, that number can jump up to 90% or more. This makes CHP even more suitable for greenhouses.

What are the biggest benefits of CHP to greenhouse owners/operators?

Lower energy costs:

- NG is an abundant and affordable source of fuel
- CHP eliminates the risk of global adjustment in applicable jurisdictions
- Heat recovery limits energy needs for heating in cool winter and shoulder seasons

Energy security:

- CHP is not subject to power quality/availability issues from the grid
- It operates as both your prime power and emergency backup power

Improved efficiency:

- Efficiencies with CHP can surpass 90%+ with heat recovery packages

Emissions reductions:

- In some jurisdictions, CHP systems require less fuel to generate power compared to conventional power plants

CO2 Recovery:

- CHP maximizes crop yields and quality

Determining whether a CHP system makes sense for your facility in particular will depend on a variety of factors.

This includes specific heat and power needs, crop lighting, the ability and budget to allow for tying into the existing energy infrastructure, as well as a consideration of the estimate on future costs of electricity, gas and global adjustment in Canada.

Ideal CHP candidates are extremely dialed-in with their operations, and are driven to reduce energy costs. Having older heating equipment is a strong driver to install CHP, as well - as well as having crops that demand extensive lighting, as they have both high heat and power needs.

The spread between gas and electricity kicks the door wide open to have a good hard look at CHP. With low NG costs, this means that current demands can be supported for at least 100+ years. Now is certainly the time to be considering CHP.

Ready to talk CHP with our team?

When it comes to all things cogeneration, T&T Power Group has got you covered. Reach out to our team of power generation experts today to get started.

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