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USDA Funding for Free Energy and Water-use Benchmarking Expiring Soon for Greenhouse and CEA Agriculture Operators

By February 2, 2023No Comments

Deadline of March 1 set for farms to enroll in grant-funded program compiling anonymous data for Key Performance Indicators report to help standardize resource efficiency.


ORTLAND, Ore. (DATETK) — The deadline is approaching for greenhouse and CEA producers to take advantage of free energy and water benchmarking services provided by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) through Resource Innovation Institute’s PowerScore platform. This service  provides  valuable analytics to empower producers to make decisions on their use of energy and water in their production facility.  Farmers interested in participating in the free program must enroll by March 1.

Resource Innovation Institute (RII), the leading not-for-profit energy and water benchmarking organization providing resource efficiency best practices for CEA producers, is recruiting the final participants for the benchmarking program as it develops its Key Performance Indicators & Baselines Report on CEA efficiency for the USDA. Data compiled from program participants will be aggregated for the report to provide a comprehensive understanding of the current state of the CEA industry and facilities in production with the goal to validate controlled agriculture as a key component in North American food security All data will be shared anonymously to protect the privacy of farms participating in the program. The program allows for all food and ornamental crops to be included in the study for both greenhouses and indoor farms.

“The data uncovered from this benchmarking exercise provides immense benefits to participants by helping them make more informed decisions based on resource efficiency,” said Derek Smith, Executive Director of Resource Innovation Institute. “Collectively, the aggregated data will help increase our understanding of the impact of climate zones on CEA energy consumption and can be utilized by government agencies and efficiency program implementers to offer high impact incentives to producers.”

Data collection that is representative of CEA facilities in operation, including those with different crops, growing styles and climate zones, is vital to create a complete snapshot of CEA practices and benefits. For individual producers the data will be kept completely confidential and will not be associated with any person or business name, so participants can be assured that no farms will be identified in the KPI report. To participate in the benchmarking program, producers must provide the following information:

  • Annual energy consumption
  • Annual water consumption
  • Annual production or each crop
  • Average canopy area dedicated to growing each crop throughout the year

Read more about the benchmarking process on RII’s website:

With that information in hand, producers can expect the benchmarking process to take about an hour of their time with assistance from RII engineers. The resulting data will help farms track key performance indicators to operate more efficiently and productively, as well as allow them to compare performance year-over-year and support investor relations and Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) reporting needs. In addition, producers can take pride in their recognition as a sustainability leader.

Interested producers wishing to enroll in the free benchmarking program should contact Elyse Greenberg at


About Resource Innovation Institute: Resilient harvests for the next hundred years

Resource Innovation Institute is an objective, data-driven non-profit organization whose mission is to measure, verify and celebrate the world’s most efficient agricultural ideas. We cultivate a better future for all of humanity with our vision of resilient harvests for the next hundred years. Our consortium of members brings perspectives from across the field—uniting architects and engineers, growers and operators, researchers and analysts. Founded in 2016 to advise governments, utilities and industry leaders on the resource impacts of indoor cultivation, an under-studied and resource-intensive market, we have since extended our research to other sectors in partnership with the United States Department of Agriculture. To take on the challenges of our changing world, we believe that food, medicine and other vital crops demand data-driven insights, securely shared with integrity. By nurturing the human connections in our complex and dynamic industry, we can build deeply restorative systems for people and the planet. Visit our website at Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.