Iowa greenhouse operable year-round thanks to gas-to-energy conversion


Organic, hydroponic tomato and lettuce plants growing in a greenhouse. Photo via Jeff Couturier; Flickr
Organic, hydroponic tomato and lettuce plants growing in a greenhouse.
Photo via Jeff Couturier; Flickr
Nick Fetty | June 15, 2014

The Perfect Circle greenhouse grows organic tomatoes year-round and does so by converting methane gas into renewable energy.

The company has a deal with the nearby Central Disposal landfill – located in Winnebago County in far northern Iowa – which converts its methane gas byproduct into usable energy. This energy heats the greenhouse during the winter which allows Perfect Circle to grow its signature organic tomatoes year-round.

Other parts of Iowa have embraced similar practices such as the Landfill Gas Project – a collaboration of the University of Iowa, the City of Iowa City, and Mid-American Energy – that aims to “transport landfill gas from the City of Iowa City landfill to the University of Iowa/Oakdale Research Park via an underground pipeline.” Maryland-based Fiberight has also announced plans for trash-to-energy centers in Blairstown and Marion. As far back as 1999 researchers at Iowa State University have experimented with extracting methane from manure which produces energy while also controlling odor.

State-offered tax exemptions and other incentives for businesses, municipalities, and other entities have also helped to attract companies to Iowa.

 

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