The planned greenhouse project at the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park is moving toward a possible start of construction in the summer of 2022, although questions still remain, according to Casey Houweling, owner of Houweling Tomatoes.
"We are at a point where we know where our heat and carbon dioxide is coming from," he said. "By the end of February or March, we should have a budget and could go after financing then."
That timeline could result in site work and foundation construction in the summer of 2022 with the remaining work and completion of the project in the summer of 2023, Houweling said.
The Houweling Tomato greenhouse project would grow tomatoes and other produce under 30 acres of glass for shipping to restaurants and grocery stores around the Upper Midwest. Previously, Houweling estimated the facility would produce about seven semitrailer loads of produce every day.
Plans call for the greenhouse to draw its heat and carbon dioxide used to enhance the growth of the plants from the Dakota Spirit AgEnergy ethanol plant located at the SEPA industrial park. "The ethanol plant runs year-round," Houweling said. "The coal-fired generating plant's future is a little more uncertain."
Engineering work and getting cost quotes for making the connection from Dakota Spirit to the greenhouse are among the next steps in the project, Houweling said.
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