Green Circle Growers
Camden Township, Ohio
Energy Efficiency — Energy Curtain
With 80 acres of greenhouse in their Northwestern Ohio operation and high natural gas prices, Green Circle Growers realized that costs could quickly spiral out of control. It decided to be proactive.
In 2008, Green Circle applied for a $227,500 REAP grant to purchase and install an energy curtain on 12 acres of its greenhouses, with an estimated energy savings of 43% in the covered area. The curtain, new technology from Europe, allows light for the plants to pass through while holding heat that would otherwise escape during the cold Midwestern nights.
Norman Baxter, Green Circle’s Chief Financial Officer, emphasized the project’s quick payback. “With the help of the grant, we’re looking at only 3-4 years before the energy savings will have made the energy curtain pay for itself.”
Asked if Green Circle would have proceeded with their energy savings project without REAP funding, Baxter replied, “It’s questionable. The grant made it a definite ‘go’ for us.”
Green Circle has had such success with REAP on this project that it will be applying for another grant when it installs five new woodburning boilers to replace its conventional natural gas boilers later this year.