Robot Vertical Farm Will Grow 1,000 Tons of Greens Per Year
Whether it’s autonomous tractors or weed control robots, the world of agriculture has certainly changed a lot in recent years. In some places, however, it’s different than on a new vertical farm outside of Copenhagen, Denmark. The hydroponic farm, with 75,000 square feet of tightly packed shelves and 14 shelves, promises to grow nearly 1,000 tons of pesticide-free, climate-neutral products annually.
Anders Riemann, founder of the startup Nordic Harvest, told Digital Trends that this is the future of sustainable agriculture as we know it. The farm, powered entirely by renewable wind energy from windmills and causing no environmental damage to nearby streams and rivers, could prove to be a model of agriculture in the coming decades. Because it is located indoors, where all conditions can be perfectly matched, it can produce high quality food year round without worrying about issues like pests, frosts, drafts or other issues that could normally affect a farm crops. This in turn opens up the possibility of converting agricultural land that is currently used for agriculture back into forests.
“Denmark [has] a lot of wind power, and especially at night, the energy demand does not cover the supply [it] is a perfect complement between sustainable agriculture [for] Food production and renewable energies, ”said Riemann.
It’s not just the stacked, vertical shelves of fresh green growing indoors that make Nordic Harvest’s farm a world away from your classic farm. Everything in the facility is bathed under glowing LED lights designed by the company while the plant seeds are planted and their progress checked by automated robotic systems. While this is far from the first time we’ve written about vertical farming solutions, this is certainly one of the largest projects of its kind to date. The facility was established in collaboration with the Taiwanese company YesHealth Group.
“The products will be available in February 2021 through supermarkets and catering services – hotels, restaurants and canteens,” said Riemann.
There are plans to expand these farms elsewhere in the world. Possible locations are other parts of Europe as well as Singapore, Dubai, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and the Philippines.