Perry Family Farms 2020 Vision (GrowTEC’s Purpose)
Our 2020 Vision (Goal) is to reduce farm inputs (water, fuel, electricity, and synthetic fertilizer) by 20% while increasing net yields by 20%, all by 2020.The Vision was created with a baseline in 2011 and has an 8 year timeline for success.
GrowTEC’s SUSTAINABILITY INITIATIVE
GrowTEC’s vision is to establish a diverse agricultural and renewable energy industry cluster that fosters innovation, synergy, and sustainable development. This cluster will include leading-edge technology companies with the ability to manufacture biofuels, bio-based chemicals/materials, and environmentally friendly fertilizers. These industries will be enabled by the on-site availability of renewable electricity and heat and other valuable byproducts.
Phase 1 of GrowTEC’s vision focuses on the conversion of waste to clean energy in a biogas-fuelled power generation facility, while Phase 2 explores future industrial integration and synergistic development. The GrowTEC initiative demonstrates leadership for long-term, sustainable wealth creation and investment in Alberta’s future that can be distributed across the agricultural and waste management industry.
Phase 1 – Biogas / Renewable Energy Production Plant & Data Driven Agriculture
Phase 2 – Site Integration and New Industry Development
Growtec’s longer term business strategy integrates local businesses and municipalities to generate a new, exciting, and diverse business cluster in the region. The following areas for development have been identified and are being pursued.
Sale of Direct Power to ICT Industry – The sale of renewable power directly to a local consumer (rather than through AESO and wholesalers) would be an improved and more efficient operational/business model for Growtec.
The power supply from Growtec’s plant would be ideal for a data center operator interested in a renewably powered IT plan. Growtec will have redundancy in power and redundant fiber optic accessibility (capitalizing on the under-utilized Alberta Supernet). Growtec therefore is an ideal location for a data center or similar super-computing management center.
Growtec is collaborating with Ventus Development Services. (http://www.ventus.ca). Ventus is interested in building an integrated approach to rural development that incorporates information and communications and PICTURE – Putting I.C.T. to Use in Rural Economics.
GrowTEC is collaborating with Sunrise Ag. (http://www.sunrise-ag.ca) of Taber Alberta on a Data Driven Agriculture.
Data Driven Agriculture – The Opportunity
A picture tells a thousand words; today, through remote sensing and cyber infrastructure, a similar picture can give us millions of data points. Sunrise AG and Grow the Energy Circle have identified opportunities to fully develop precision farming practices within the irrigated regions of southern Alberta. By integrating aerial image remote sensing and geographic information systems with controlled variable rate irrigation systems, water and fertilizer use can be managed more efficiently, and land productivity can be increased by an estimated 20%. This can be enabled through data management and systems integration – Data Driven Agriculture.
DDA creates an opportunity for agriculture producers to be true stewards of the valuable resources we are using by having access to real time growth production data, to derive real time prescriptions that can responsibly apply inputs when and where required in season. The opportunity is to produce a better quality, higher net yield crop that benefits the entire value chain; the producer, processor and in the end the consumer, and habitant of the planet.