GE and Canada to invest in LED lighting technology for greenhouses
By Anthony Capkun
September 22, 2011 – GE and the Government of Canada have announced they are each investing $1.3 million for a research project with Les Serres St-Laurent (Savoura) and McGill University to develop “innovative LED lighting technology” for commercial greenhouses to help improve growing efficiency while reducing business operational costs.
“Today’s announcement exemplifies successful collaboration driving technology innovation,” said Elyse Allan, president & CEO, GE Canada. “The application of GE’s LED technology will significantly enhance commercial greenhouse operations, not just in Canada, but around the world.”
The joint investment is expected to develop technologies that will enable Canadian greenhouse growers to become more profitable and competitive in the global marketplace. Anticipated benefits to Canadian greenhouse operators may include reduced energy consumption, year-round production, lower operating costs and new job development for the greenhouse industry.
GE Lighting Solutions selected McGill University’s Mark Lefsrud to conduct research on plant-specific photosynthetic active radiation (PAR) curves (the specific light wavelength plants require for optimum growth) that plays a key role in the advancement of this significant new lighting option for the horticultural industry.
Savoura, one of the largest greenhouse tomato growers under supplemental lighting in the world, will receive trial testing of GE’s LED lighting fixtures to help increase energy efficiency and lower production costs. Since Savoura has the technical growing expertise of tomatoes under artificial light, they will provide leadership, expertise and technical support for planning the experiments.
“This forward-looking program will allow Savoura—as well as the entire Canadian greenhouse industry—to continue to offer fresh, healthy and tasty vegetables year-round, while maintaining operating costs at acceptable levels by using energy more efficiently,” said Marie Gosselin, president and director general of Savoura.