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CHP keeps production cost under control

Higher kilo yield per square metre thanks to extra CO2

About De Riviersprong

Bell pepper producer De Riviersprong sets itself apart with a daily fresh product. Straight from the greenhouse to the market without the need for a cold store. Because you compete on quality.

Red and green peppers hang in the greenhouses in Giessen and Brakel where Govert de Lorm runs the family business together with his father and brother. Both colour variants present their own challenges. The green peppers have to keep their colour as long as possible and, above all, not change colour too fast on the plant or in the shop. The red peppers have to ripen quickly so that they can be harvested rapidly and make money. Sales are made via the ZON auction: the majority through an intermediary and the rest via the auction clock. De Lorm: "From December to March, the supply from Spain arrives as well; we always really feel the impact of that because it drives prices down in our most expensive months."

Heat in a buffer tank

Light, heat and CO2 are the key components that determine production. Lighting is a costly business, according to De Lorm: "You're talking about a hefty investment. It isn't yet profitable to install such a system. So we use daylight during the day." To generate heat and CO2, the horticultural entrepreneurs took a different route by having a CHP unit installed.

During the hours with the highest prices for electricity, we run the CHP unit and supply almost all the power to the grid. We store the resulting heat in a buffer tank and retrieve it again when there is demand for it in the greenhouse. Finally, the exhaust gases are passed through a flue gas purifier and, if they are sufficiently clean after inspection, we use them to add CO2."

Short delivery time for MTUs

As consulting firm DLV calculated for the producer De Riviersprong, a CHP unit saves money when all factors are considered. De Lorm: "We therefore wanted the CHP unit as soon as possible. We compared various quotations, but the delivery time was a problem with several suppliers. We heard from a colleague about good experiences with Centrica Business Solutions (then ENER-G Nedalo) and their short delivery times for MTUs. Thanks to this short delivery time, we will be able to continue testing on the old crop for a few months this year. It doesn't get much better than that: a top brand, a proven supplier and everything delivered quickly. Because every extra week that it takes, you are actually throwing money away. In our industry, it's essential to keep the production cost under control."

Why Centrica Business Solutions?

Centrica Business Solutions is the oldest supplier of CHP units in the Netherlands and has the largest fleet of CHP units in Europe. For De Riviersprong, it delivered a 1160 kW MTU gas installation with flue gas purifier in an outdoor enclosure. Here too, Centrica Business Solutions is proving to be a true horticulture specialist. Customers that make intelligent choices in terms of energy will see their returns grow even faster than their crops.