Chile to see first pilot project for geothermal greenhouses

Chile to see first pilot project for geothermal greenhouses Greenhouse tomatoes (source: flickr/ lwpkommunikacio, creative commons)
Alexander Richter 11 Sep 2013

A pilot project is to test geothermal heating for greenhouse operations near Santiago, Chile, the first project of its kind in the country.

Chile is now planning a test to utilize geothermal energy for the heating of greenhouses at a horticultural pilot project outside of Santiago in Lampa.

Chile’s Agrarian Innovation Foundation (FIA) behind this planned first horticultural greenhouse run on geothermal energy.

In the system under testing, the use of geothermal energy could reduce energy costs by 50%, the FIA estimated.

Coordinator Adbo Fernández explained that the system utilizes water pumps to warm the greenhouses through a heating system. This prevents temperatures in the greenhouse from reaching produce-damaging levels.

Initiative supervisor Rodolfo Cortés reflected on the potential to achieve higher production with a lower carbon footprint.

“In addition to lower energy costs, you get better product quality, since the plant is in more comfortable conditions to develop itself. This could allow for earlier production, which added to the previously mentioned, could create better prices for farmers,” Cortés said.

“Something that interests us a lot is that this is project that could be replicated in other areas of the country, especially in the south.”

The project is expected to cost US$136,000, of which US$109,000 will come from FIA. Other collaborating partners include the Ministry of Agriculture and agri-business Sergio Aguilar.”

Source: FreshFruit Portal