Green Energy Ohio Tour 2012: Horticulture Business Relies on Solar, Wind Energy for Year-Round Food Production

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Ohio horticulturalist and renewable energy advocate Barry Adler is harnessing solar and wind energy to provide all the heat and electricity he needs to provide a steady supply of herbs, greens, and other vegetables to local restaurants and shops. RainFresh Harvests, near Plain City, Ohio, is one of 170 businesses, homes, schools, parks, and other properties on 2012’s Green Energy Ohio Tour, Columbus Dispatch reports.

The solar photovoltaic (PV) panels and small wind turbine Adler has installed provide enough clean, green renewable heat and power year-round to meet the needs of RainFresh Harvest’s two greenhouses and other buildings. Being off-grid, its sustainable horticulture operations had a stable power supply even when powerful storms cut grid power supplies in the area this summer.

Green Energy Ohio Tour Showcases State’s Robust, Vital Green Energy Sector

Adler has invested some $40,000 to install Rainfresh Harvest’s renewable power and heating systems. Doing so has enabled him to combine “the two things he loves into one business: horticulture and renewable energy,” Columbus Dispatch’s Mark Williams reported. “It’s a good feeling to know I’m not polluting in the process of using energy,” Adler was quoted as saying. “I wanted to create a model to be as sustainable as possible and have the least impact on natural resources.”

More than 170 open-house sites in more than 100 communities in 49 counties were visited during this year’s Green Energy Ohio Tour, which ended October 7. Highlighting the robust vitality and tremendous diversity of the fast-growing US green energy sector, participating were 200 businesses, 50 green energy system installers, 69 manufacturers, 35 local businesses, and 45 businesses which opened their doors to the public, according to a Green Energy Ohio (GEO) press release.

Open for public viewing during this year’s Green Energy Ohio, the green and clean energy technologies on offer included energy efficiency gadgets, products and systems, LEED buildings, Energy Star appliances, electric vehicles (EVs), passive solar homes, solar thermal systems, solar PV systems, wind energy systems, geothermal ground source heat pumps, and biomass production technology.

“The GEO Tour Week shows the solar, wind, biomass and energy efficiency systems at work every day to provide a cleaner environment and new green jobs,” GEO Executive Director Bill Spratley said. “We invite Ohioans to visit these green energy sites to see how they can begin adopting sustainable energy for their home, business and community.”

On the other side of the globe, Aurora Algae is taking a very different tack in developing new sustainable food and agriculture technology, methods, and techniques. Building on research and development begun at the University of California, Berkeley in 2006, the company is preparing to expand its algae biomass production system in Western Australia to commercial scale.

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