AGR Fenland Glasshouse (GBR)
DELIVERING LOW-CARBON POWER AT UK GREENHOUSE
CHP energy center with an innovative heat pump system delivers power and heat with 30% less CO2 than conventionally heated greenhouses
"AGR are proud to have worked in partnership with Clarke Energy and INNIO in the delivery of the 20ha Fenland Glasshouse, the heat supply for which is based on one of the largest water source heat pump arrays in the UK. Sustainable large scale glasshouse developments such as this are vital in an era where energy and food security are under so much pressure."
Konrad Aspinall,, Director and Co-Owner, AGR Group
AGR is a leading renewable energy company specializing in low-carbon energy generation. A recent example of the company’s environmentally responsible innovation is the new 217,000-square-meter Fenland Glasshouse and energy center in Cambridgeshire, UK. The completion of the energy center that delivers electricity and heat to the greenhouse was facilitated by INNIO’s distributor Clarke Energy, a global business specializing in the engineering, installation, procurement, and supply of distributed power plant solutions, including maintenance and local service support. The greenhouse facility is used to grow cucumbers, with the expectation of eventually supplying about 10% of the cucumbers consumed in the United Kingdom.
A low-carbon energy solution
The energy center for the greenhouse includes a combined heat and power (CHP) plant comprising three high-efficiency Jenbacher engines that deliver electricity, while an exhaust cooling system delivers recovered CO2 to help the plants grow. Additionally, an innovative 33 MWth heat pump system provides renewable hot water for the facility. INNIO’s energy solutions allow for highly flexible integration into innovative CHP systems. The Jenbacher engines’ cooling water circuits offer an ideal match to heat pump systems. And when they are connected to thermal heat storage systems, the overall system efficiency is optimized independently from the operation of the engines during peak electricity periods. The engines not only provide reliable power, heat, and CO2 to the greenhouse, but their ability to run in complete island mode with black start capability means that they also deliver resiliency during grid failures or shortages. This energy reliability and resiliency allow AGR to concentrate on its core operations. Jenbacher systems can be powered by numerous low-carbon or renewable energy sources—including pipeline gas, biogas, biomethane, and up to 100% hydrogen. And INNIO’s Jenbacher CHP plants can be adapted easily as changes in gas network supply occur, meaning investments made today are future-proof for tomorrow.
The CHP plant consists of Jenbacher J416, J620, and J624 engines delivering an electrical output of 9 MW, which is used to power the greenhouse, the LED grow lights, and various site auxiliaries. Electrical energy surpluses are fed into the local grid. The Jenbacher engines generate a thermal output of 11.2 MW, which is used for hot water and stored on site in one 6,000-cubic-meter thermal storage unit, which is used to heat the facility at night and in the winter. Additionally, the engines’ CO2 emissions, which are significantly reduced via a highly efficient SCR exhaust gas cleaning system, are recovered from the exhaust gases and can be transferred to the greenhouse to help accelerate the produces’ growth and maximize the harvest. The energy center does all this while also fulfilling AGR’s low-carbon mission by emitting 30% less CO2 than conventionally heated greenhouses.
Jenbacher engines offer numerous advantages in a greenhouse environment:
- Reduced operating costs and increased efficiency with a combined heat and power system
- Ready-to-use, dedicated turn-key greenhouse solutions
- Proven high availability and reliable performance operating on fuels from pipeline gas to hydrogen
- Added revenue potential by supplying excess power to the public utility grid
- Site resiliency during grid fluctuations and failures
- Potential to capture engine exhaust CO2 and use it as high-quality plant fertilizer
- Ability to store heat for a time-independent supply
- Exceptional service team with fast response for spare parts and repairs as needed
Cambridgeshire, United Kingdom
1 x J416, 1 x J620, 1 x J624