Fulcrum wins job to power up £85m mega-greenhouse

Aaron Morby 2 years ago
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Multi-utility contractor Fulcrum has secured the job to hook-up one of the country’s largest greenhouses near Ely in Cambridgeshire.

Under the £5m contract, Sheffield-based Fulcrum will design and install electricity, gas and water infrastructure for the 22-hectare vegetable growing facility, which has the capacity to grow 10% of the cucumbers consumed in Britain.

Working with AGR Renewables, for developer Greencoat Capital, Fulcrum will install 5.7km of electricity infrastructure, 12.5km of gas infrastructure and 2.9km of water infrastructure as well as providing network connections to a new Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Energy Centre adjacent to the greenhouse.

The Energy Centre will power open-loop heat pumps, which will use heat from the nearby reservoir to warm the greenhouse.

As part of a world-first, the CHP plant will also power LED lighting that will accelerate plant growth and increase year-round yields by 27%.

Carbon dioxide produced by the gas-fired CHP Energy Centre is then transferred to the greenhouse to be recaptured by the plants to further support the growth of the vegetables.

The renewable heating process will also deliver a 30% reduction in CO2 compared to conventionally heated greenhouses. It will also use 10 times less water than is used for field-grown vegetables.

It will be the third renewably heated greenhouse developed by Greencoat Capital and will also generate almost 300 full-time and seasonal jobs.

With plans for the greenhouse to be operational before the end of the first quarter of 2022, Fulcrum has already undertaken a programme of design and pre-mobilisation works to ensure that it can deliver the infrastructure within a relatively short timescale, enabling the energisation of the electricity and gas connections and completion of the water infrastructure before the end of this year.

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