US (NE): North Platte NRD plans citrus greenhouse

Harvesting lemons and oranges, maybe even bananas.

It’s been done already in Nebraska. The North Platte Natural Resources District is planning to do it in the future.

The NRD is raising funds for a solar-powered, geothermal-heated greenhouse, sunk 4 feet into the ground over a network of ducts circulating 54-degree air warmed by the earth, the Scottsbluff Star Herald reported. The greenhouse would measure 126 feet by 17 feet and stand 14 feet high, said NRD Assistant Manager Barb Cross, who is overseeing the project.

The complex will be built on 1.6 acres leased from the Western Nebraska Airport Authority just south of the NRD’s office building on Airport Road. It will cost about $75,000 to complete, with $50,000 of that dedicated to the greenhouse.

Solar power will provide the $500 worth of electricity needed each year to run the fans. The greenhouse panels will be made of impact-resistant Lexan plastic, manufactured in Alliance.

Read more at the Omaha World-Herald (Steve Frederick)

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