The province of Québec, blessed with plentiful hydro resources, is financing more research into optimizing the management and use of electrical energy for heating and artificial lighting of its greenhouse vegetable sector. Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and the province have announced $500,000 to Laval University and its Department of Mechanical Engineering to forge ahead on research that could support the doubling of acreage by 2025.
The announcement builds on Hydro-Québec’s adoption of a new electricity rate of six cents/kwh for the greenhouse sector. Led by Dr. Louis Gosselin, the project seeks to identify efficient management of heat and artificial lighting while optimizing productivity, reducing the risk of plant diseases and taking into account the particularities of the sector, including load shedding and power demand. More specifically, the objectives are to better understand electrical loads, maximize microclimates of plants, and develop strategies for the use of artificial lighting and heating that are most conducive to plant growth and disease prevention.
Québec sees greenhouse crops as a powerful driver for improving its self-sufficiency, says provincial agricultural minister André Lamontagne.
Source: Statistics Canada. Table 32-10-0456-01 Production and value of greenhouse fruits and vegetables
Source: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada May 4, 2022 news release