Börje Ivars has been a vegetable grower for 27 years. His enterprise includes tomato greenhouses covering 42,000 m2 and 140,000 m2 of fields used for grain. Börje became a leader in artificial lighting of greenhouse tomatoes in Finland when he equipped his facilities with high-pressure sodium lighting systems. While these lighting systems doubled the time his business could remain operational from six months to all-year round,they were a substantial investment and raised his company’s electric costs by 95%.
Sympower approached Börje with an opportunity to utilise the value of his lighting systems by participating in demand response services. Börje was interested in exploring means to increase his revenue, as long as it didn’t compromise his proven growing practices. As a prominent figure in the industry, he was also interested in promoting new ways in which his company could increase its corporate responsibility standards and maintain its strong sustainability reputation.
Börje partnered with Sympower to use his company’s lighting systems as an energy asset that can stabilize the Finnish electric grid. Sympower managed the turn-key installation, which included examining the lighting requirements and installing controllers and power metering, before finally testing the system.
There were no upfront costs for Börje or impact on his ongoing operations, despite adding advanced and automated demand response capabilities to his lighting systems. Börje is never left in the dark either – the greenhouses are notified prior to any switching on or off the lighting systems and have the ability to manually override the remote switchings if necessary. This removes any potential risk to his crops.