Energy companies in are teaming up to research how excess heat from their plants could be used to power a greenhouse in North Dakota.
Their experiment is planned to take form in Underwood, ND, about 50 miles north of Bismarck. The plant would be based on another greenhouse in Utah, where excess heat and carbon dioxide from a neighboring natural-gas powered plant are pumped into a 28 acre tomato greenhouse. The facility grows almost 500,000 bushels of tomatoes year round and employs 120 people.
Heat for the North Dakota plant would come from Coal Creek’s cooling tower basins. A portion of funding for the study has come from the state’s Lignite Research Council, as well as $75,000 from the state’s Agricultural Products Utilization Commission.
Officials believe the greenhouse market is underdeveloped in the United States and he appreciates the opportunity to try to tie North Dakota’s two largest industries, agriculture and energy, to find benefits for both.