Shreveport’s Urban Farm, SWEPCO use new tech for year-round growth
Southwestern Electric Power Company announced Tuesday that they have collaborated with Shreveport Green and EPRI to create the first indoor agriculture facility that utilizes new technology to grow nutritious food year-around.
“SWEPCO is proud to collaborate on this exciting project that will help increase access to healthy food in our communities using this innovative farming method,” said SWEPCO President and Chief Operating Officer Malcolm Smoak.
The Urban Farm on Sprague Street will feature a controlled environment agriculture farm made from a custom shipping container equipped with LED lighting, high efficiency HVAC system, recirculating water pumps, a dehumidification system and sensors.
The produce planted will be monitored via remote sensor technology, which will continuously gather real-time data on growing conditions. This information will allow farmers to remotely control the lighting, temperature and watering conditions to create the ideal setting needed for produce to thrive.
“Indoor agriculture is a rapidly growing and evolving industry across the United States,” said Frank Sharp, Principal Technical Leader at EPRI. “We’re seeing innovative designs, technologies, and energy applications that are helping CEA farms not only achieve year-round crop cultivation but also contribute to areas of community need like energy and water efficiency goals.”
The indoor agriculture facility will allow for year-around local production of crops regardless of outdoor conditions.
“We are thrilled to be a part of this exciting and practical program,” said said Donna Curtis, Shreveport Green Executive Director. “We hope to eventually harvest 90 pounds of produce every three weeks, giving our Mobile Market a dependable source of food. This hydroponic container nicely complements the 22 additional community gardens we have around the city.”
Makenzie Boucher is a reporter with the Shreveport Times. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.