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July 11, 2024

Leveraging Controls and Automation to Manage CEA Energy Demand

In 2017, utilities and energy experts noticed a spike in electric demand. After 20 or so years of stable low growth, it was first posited that the increase in electric vehicles on U.S. roads and building electrification (e.g. swapping out fossil fuel-burning furnaces for electric heat pumps) was driving this boom. As Wesley Whited, a…
July 11, 2024

Vertical Harvest’s Road Through USDA’s Loan Guarantee Programs

The vertical farming company received nearly $49 million in USDA loan guarantees. Here, the company shares some of the work that went into the process.   The process Vertical Harvest Farms, a hydroponic, vertical farming company with facilities in Wyoming and Maine, went through to get a USDA loan guarantee was a months-long affair full…
June 26, 2024

RII Responds: USDA 2022 AgCensus Report

As he announced the release of the USDA’s 2022 Census of Agriculture on February 13, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack painted a portrait of a farming industry at risk of stagnating, but with opportunities to innovate. The AgCensus report, released every five years, shares the results of anonymized surveys of the entire U.S. agriculture market.…
December 18, 2023

How to Size HVAC Systems for CEA Facilities

Building an optimal cultivation environment takes careful consideration of all heat and moisture sources.   Identifying the ideal Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system size is a critical stride toward resource-efficient Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA). Cultivating crops in precisely regulated conditions demands a tailored approach, acknowledging factors like crop diversity, facility dimensions, and location…
November 22, 2023

Airflow Design for Vertical Farms: 5 Tips

The pursuit of optimal crop yields and resource efficiency has led to groundbreaking innovations in controlled environment agriculture (CEA) facility design. The popularization of light-emitted diode (LED) fixtures in recent years has preceded a boom in vertical farming in both indoor and greenhouse environments. These tiered systems allow operators to maximize production by multiplying their…
October 30, 2023

How CEA Can Connect With Utilities to Unlock Rebates & Incentives: 5 Tips

CEA operators (including cannabis growers) may or may not be aware that their facility upgrade projects might be eligible for various incentive and rebate projects that can offset costs for a variety of equipment, or even make those projects economically feasible. To help understand how these programs work and their requirements and opportunities, Cody Allen,…