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Innovator Spotlight:
Great Northern Hydroponics

Kingsville, Ontario, Canada

Guido van het Hof knew his greenhouse could do more. Grow more. A student of plant science, van het Hof and his team at Great Northern Hydroponics have been growing more than 10 varieties of tomatoes in Ontario, Canada, for more than 20 years. For van het Hof, decades of greenhouse experience have demonstrated the benefits of assimilation lighting, but could tradition be enhanced in the quest to optimize the farm’s more than 20 million pounds of tomatoes per year? After installing Fluence’s VYPR solution with broad R4 spectra across 10 acres of his tomato glasshouse, van het Hof was able to increase production and save on energy costs.

Enhancing year-round
tomato production
with a refined lighting strategy

Great Northern Hydroponics’ greenhouses span more than 70 acres and create optimum growing conditions through a sophisticated climate control system as well as a biologically controlled environment to prevent pest manifestations. Fluence’s LED technology was retrofitted, replacing high-pressure sodium lighting across 10 acres of the facility’s tomato glasshouse to enhance year-round tomato production, drive crop consistency, reduce overall operational costs and refine the facility’s lighting strategy, including broad-spectrum light.

Project Overview

Cultivator Name:Great Northern Hydroponics
Location:Kingsville, Ontario, Canada
Crop:Tomato
Fluence Fixture:VYPR
Light Intensity: 220umols
Spectra: Physiospec Broad R4
Type of Facility:Glasshouse
Regional DLI:21-25 mols/m2/day
Results:• Energy savings of 3.6 million kilowatt-hours
• 10% increase in fruit production
• Improved environment for workers
• Enhanced climate control
• Extended lighting hours

Challenges

Capitalizing on the broad-spectrum advantage with Fluence LEDs

Great Northern Hydroponics’ president and general manager, Guido van het Hof, has committed more than a decade to researching the latest advancements and strategies for LED horticulture lighting. His efforts rival leading research universities and some of the world’s largest cultivators. In his pursuit to identify the optimal spectral strategy for vine crop production, van het Hof spearheaded various trials with high-pressure sodium fixtures as well as LED technology. Throughout his exploration, van het Hof has recorded significant advantages under Fluence’s broad-spectrum LED technology, reporting an increase in fruit production compared to monochromatic LED lighting as well as significant energy savings compared to high-pressure sodium lighting—reductions that enabled the Great Northern Hydroponics team to leverage the Save on Energy Retrofit program which offers growers incentives for energy-efficient lighting upgrades.

Through Fluence’s utility rebate coordination program, the company assists growers with identifying, applying for, and in some cases, creating rebate programs in a facility’s respective region. With Great Northern Hydroponics’ lighting upgrade supported by the Save on Energy Retrofit program incentive, van het Hof estimates the business will reduce its power consumption by about CA$150,000 based on local energy costs—by having replaced its high-pressure sodium lighting with Fluence’s LED technology.

opex bluence

3.6

MILLION FEWER KILOWATT-HOURS CONSUMED ANNUALLY

yield bluence
10

increases in fruit production and yield

We’ve been growing tomatoes for more than 20 years. As one of the first growers in our region to illuminate crops in a commercial environment, we’ve been immersed in researching and optimizing spectral strategies for plant growth and quality. Since the onset of LED technology, I’ve been particularly curious about how broad-spectrum LEDs could affect plant development. Based on our years of research and trialing, we’ve discovered that crops grow beautifully—with higher yields and fruit weights—under broad-spectrum light. Guido van het Hof,
president and general manager, Great Northern Hydroponics
Great Northern Hydroponics has always been a pioneer in leveraging horticulture technology and innovative cultivation methods. Our work with Guido has informed some of our most important product advancements for vine crop growers throughout the world. Guido and his team at Great Northern Hydroponics have reinforced the validity and efficacy of LED lighting in greenhouse environments. Steve Graves,
Vice president of business development, Fluence

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