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Taking Standardization of Greenhouse Cogeneration to The Next Level

When in 2010 Gruppo AB, together with a few former Jenbacher employees, created AB Greenhouse Power Netherlands (ABGPN), it was with a vision of taking cogeneration in the greenhouse sector to a whole new level.

Over a period of more than 2 decades, Jenbacher in the Netherlands had continually updated and optimized their greenhouse cogeneration plants resulting in more than 2,000 MW of Jenbacher CHP installations deployed in greenhouses across the country. The vast majority of these projects are operating grid parallel and have the flexibility to power grow lights or to export power into the grid when power prices were high, utilize all the heat recovered for system efficiencies greater than 93%, and utilize the CO2 present in engine exhaust for enhancing plant growth.

For these greenhouse projects, a high level of standardization was applied, covering the entire installation including heat recovery equipment, sound enclosure, ventilation systems, exhaust systems, controls, greenhouse integration, etc., allowing for successfully delivering as many as 180 installations per year.

When applying the same project design and implementation methods to international projects, it became clear that minimizing work to be performed on site could significantly improve the ability to control project schedules and construction costs.

This is where Gruppo AB came in. As a company with a decades long experience of working exclusively with Jenbacher gas engines at the heart of their best in class, containerized CHP plants, Gruppo AB was the perfect organization to take greenhouse cogeneration to the next level.

Following the incorporation of ABGPN, the team at AB set out to develop a greenhouse specific version of their containerized CHP plants and the result of this design effort has been astonishing.

AB has created a system that is essentially a combination of 3 modules (containerized generator set, exhaust cleaning, and heat recovery). During the manufacturing process the entire CHP plant will be assembled at the AB factory, before taking it apart and shipping it to the end destination.

Once arrived on site, the complete CHP plant can be re-assembled in as little as 5 days, providing greenhouse cogeneration customers with the following connection points:
• Gas inlet at container wall
• Electricity at generator terminals
• Hot water at container wall
• CO2 at exhaust stack

Timing of this product development has been perfect. Global greenhouse construction has increased significantly in recent years and many sites that either require power that cannot be provided by the local utility, or sites that are looking for lowering their energy costs have started to utilize the CHP plants offered by Gruppo AB.

One market that has benefitted significantly from these developments is Canada. In Ontario, after years of trying to develop a program to facilitate implementation of greenhouse CHP plants, finally in 2014 a CHP standard offer program (CHPSOP) was introduced that made it possible for greenhouses to finally justify the installation of cogeneration. In the years following as many as 7 greenhouses managed to secure a contract with the IESO and proceed with construction of their cogeneration projects. Testament to the success if the Gruppo AB greenhouse standardization efforts, all 7 projects, ranging in size from 2.7 MW to 13.3 MW, are utilizing the Gruppo AB technology for their projects.

With 7 CHPSOP projects in operation, this has been a tremendous success for the AB organization and their technology that has been developed specifically for this most challenging application.

Building on this overwhelming success, the Canadian cultivation market also has taken off. In this case projects are often driven by the need for power, where utilities often struggle to deliver electricity required. Similarly, the cultivation sector utilization of greenhouse specific, standardized CHP plants is being recognized as the best way to implement projects. One such customer is Aphria, who at multiple sites have installed 20 MW of AB’s greenhouse CHP plants that deliver electricity, heat, CO2 and even cooling (through absorption chillers) to their cultivation greenhouses.

It has taken some years for various markets to mature, but the future looks bright for AB’s greenhouse CHP plants in the global greenhouse markets!

To learn more about ABGPN cogeneration plants, please contact Dick Kramp at or for Canadian applications Jan Buijk at

More information:–-center-excellence-greenhouse-cogeneration

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Israel announces creation of global seed company

Two Israeli seed producers, Nirit Seeds and TomaTech, have joined forces to create Israel’s largest vegetable seed company. This synergy will enable unique seed breeding research and development that will accelerate the company’s growth in the international seed markets.

Upon completion of the merger, the company will have more than 80 employees worldwide, including molecular biologists, breeders, agronomists, and others.
The company will improve its breeding activities in Israel, Spain, Mexico and Italy, as well as significantly expand its representation in the Netherlands and North America, with a particular focus on growing vegetables in high-tech greenhouses.

Nirit Seeds is one of the most successful internationally traded tomato and pepper seed producers, investing in the development of revolutionary genetic technologies. TomaTech is one of the leading tomato seed companies in Israel, developing premium varieties, including those resistant to the dangerous Tomato Brown Ruffle Virus (ToBRFV).

The production of crop seeds is one of the most advanced and high-tech sectors in Israel. According to the Seed Department of the Federation of Israel Chambers of Commerce, seed exports currently generate $200 million in annual revenue. There are about 25 large and medium-sized companies in the local industry.

For reference. According to market research, the global vegetable seed industry is valued at $8 billion a year and is growing at a CAGR of 8%.

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Karachay-Cherkessia became one of the leaders in the production of greenhouse vegetables at the end of 2021


Greenhouse vegetable production in 2021 reached a record 1.4 million tonnes. According to the Ministry of Agriculture of the Russian Federation, the leaders among the regions in this segment are the Karachay-Cherkess Republic, Lipetsk, Moscow, Kaluga, Volgograd, Novosibirsk, Saratov, Chelyabinsk regions, Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, the Republics of Bashkortostan and Tatarstan. These regions account for more than 60% of the total production in the country. The intensive development of greenhouse projects in our country helps to provide Russians with fresh vegetables all year round. Last year, the harvest in winter greenhouses updated the 2020 record – more than 1.4 million tons of products were received. Including the production of cucumbers amounted to at least 830 thousand tons, and tomatoes – 590 thousand tons. It is expected that by 2025 the volume of vegetable production in year-round greenhouses will be at least 1.6 million tons of vegetables.


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December: Special Year Overview

In 2022, it will be 22 year since the new millennium started. Can’t believe it? Neither can we, but it is true. Before we go there, it is time to reflect on what has happened this year. Over the next couple of weeks, we will look back at 2021 and we will highlight the most important events that impacted the industry.

New greenhouses, events, even a few shows, technical novelties, and all other relevant news will pass by, offering you something other than Covid to talk about during Christmas and New Years’.


Wish your customers Happy Holidays
This special also offers an opportunity to put your company in the spotlight with a banner in this special box. This banner can be booked until December 24 on our newsletters. For more information, feel free to send an email to: 

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