For Immediate Release
City Considers greenhouse powered by renewable energy
The City of Springfield's Department of Environmental Services is exploring the feasibility of a $2 million-$2.5 million 30,000-square-foot community greenhouse operation, powered by renewable energy generated by the Noble Hill Renewable Energy Project of the Springfield Sanitary Landfill.
Goals for the project, according to City Manager Greg Burris, are to:
- Provide locally grown, fresh, organic food for area restaurants to serve and local grocery stores to sell;
- Contribute locally grown foods for local food pantries, and work opportunities for those in need;
- Serve as a "proof of concept" facility for reuse of energy and state-of-the-art sustainable practices;
- Offer research opportunities for area universities and provide jobs for students;
- Allow educational opportunities for K-12 students;
- Reduce our community's carbon footprint;
- Provide locally grown trees, flowers and other landscaping items for community beautification projects;
- Be a source of community pride and a symbol of community sustainability.
"We're looking for ideas about how we can make this greenhouse operation a real community project," says Environmental Services Sustainability Officer Barbara Lucks. "There are only a handful of these types of greenhouses across the country, and we're excited about the possibilities."
The Noble Hill Landfill Renewable Energy Center is a partnership between the City of Springfield and City Utilities. It began delivering electricity to CU customers in May 2006. Methane gas produced by the City of Springfield's landfill is harnessed at the generator, providing 3.2 megawatts of electricity to about 2000 customers.
The joint project uses a previously discarded byproduct to produce energy for the community. Utilizing this renewable energy power source provides cost savings and helps the environment by reducing fossil fuel emissions, providing businesses with a stable source of alternative energy, and improving air quality.
It is hoped this new project will take renewable energy planning to the next level by using a portion of the Energy Center's waste heat to power the community greenhouse.
Partial funding for the community greenhouse project is possible through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act and the Transform Missouri Initiative, and administered by the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.
Media is invited to attend a meeting to discuss the idea with business and community leaders and other interested parties from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. May 8, 2013 at the Springfield-Greene County Botanical Center in Nathanael Greene Park.
For more information, contact: Cora Scott, 417-864-1009 or Barbara Lucks, 864-2005.