News

Progressive Dutch vegetable grower utilizing geothermal for heat and power

Drilling rig on the project site in the Netherlands (source: californie.nu)
Alexander Richter 12 Oct 2012

A progressive vegetable family operation in the Netherlands has drilled two geothermal wells to support the operation of a combined geothermal heat and power plant to deliver more sustainable products.

Sometimes stories are simple hidden, like this one from the Netherlands I just came across. There have been stories about Netherland vegetable growers looking at geothermal for heating and powering their operations and also news on a new geothermal district heating system in the city of The Hague in the past.

The Dutch family company Wijnen Square Crops has been looking at geothermal energy as an energy solution for its growing operation in the Netherlands. Today, drilling is almost finished. The company is laying pipes so that the company’s peppers (paprika) can grow on geothermal heat. There is even the possibility for the drilling of additional wells.

In 2008, so the company website, Wijnen Square Crops started to investigate the possibilities geothermal energy could provide to its operations. The company has ambitious plans to make its productions CO2 neutral.

As part of the project to utilize geothermal energy, the company has drilled two borehols to a depth of around 2,200 meters, a production and a re-injection well. The temperature of the water is 80 degrees Celsius and is transferred through a heat exchanger to the greenhouses of the company.

While this does not cut cost of cultivation dramatically, but the company believes in the sustainability element of its operation, providing “green” peppers four different colours and reduce its CO2 output by 15,000 tonnes annually.

The installed capacity is sufficient for its operations, so the company is considering supplying energy to companies in the neighborhood.

The company is a strong advocate of combined heat and power from geothermal, which is an ideal energy source in that sense. The ideal mixture would be about 70-80% for heating and the rest for electricity generation.

Source: Fresh Plaza, Wijnen Square Crops