Turning Great Ideas into a Prioritized Facility Improvement Plan
The history of managing living systems using technology is fraught with examples of unintended consequences that have endangered our planet’s environment, such as pesticide contamination and algal blooms. This final workshop in our California Efficient Yields series will allow participants to think holistically, how the sum of the design and componentry impact water and energy consumption and emissions. Participants will learn of the Energy-Water Nexus: the water required to create our energy and the energy required to bring us clean water. Key performance indicators for resource efficiency will be identified, and ways to measure and track them year over year demonstrated. Experts will share insightful case studies of projects that improved resource efficiency without sacrificing profit margin or, in some cases, improving it. This workshop will allow producers to bring together the best ideas for their facility into an improvement plan, whether it is a traditional greenhouse or indoor farm. Even the simplest facilities can be made more resource efficient through best practices, and the sheer number of them create a ripple effect across the industry. More advanced facilities will pioneer new proven technologies for cultivation or renewables. All participants will better understand how to partner with utilities, vendors and outside professionals to build their ideas into an efficient reality.
Topical areas include:
Efficiency recommendations by CEA facility type
Measuring water and energy usage
Energy Monitoring Tool Lending Programs
Developing and tracking efficiency KPIs
Prioritizing and planning projects
Case studies of successful efficiency improvements
Partnering with utilities
Operations & Facility Staff
Design & Construction Partners
Utility & Government Representatives
|Funded with support from:|
|California Efficient Yields PG&E Workshop 5: Putting It All Together: Case Studies in Efficiency (16.2 MB)||Download|
Rob has over 30 years of experience in plant growth facility management, plant research and commercial production. At Purdue University, he brought online and managed a computer- controlled 40,000 ft 2 research facility, made up of 25 greenhouses and over 60 growth chambers and grow rooms. He was responsible for hundreds of CEA studies involving flowering, food and medicinal species. He served on design teams for greenhouse projects and one of the first automated machine-vision phenotyping centers in the country. In his consulting role, he supported major hydroponic produce growers AeroFarms and Bright Farms; Big Ag companies Dow AgroSciences, Novozymes and Indigo Ag; and several cannabis operations including Clade9. He wrote cultivation plans for cannabis licenses awarded in Missouri and West Virginia.
Rob’s protocols for optimizing greenhouse production have been downloaded over 70,000 times in 104 countries. He participated in the publication, A Practical Guide to Containment: Plant Biosafety in Research Greenhouses, recognized throughout the world as a primary resource for safe production of genetically modified crops. In 2016, he was a member of the International Committee for Controlled Environment Guidelines that published Guidelines for Measuring and Reporting Environmental Parameters for Experiments in Greenhouse Facilities, the seminal document of quality assurance protocols for plant science research.
In his free time, Rob enjoys gardening, growing microgreens under LEDs, baking and winning croquet matches against his three grown children.
Mike grew up in the agricultural community of the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts. There he developed a deep respect for both conventional and small scale organic production methods. He attended Northeastern University earning a BS and MS in Electrical Engineering, and spent the first part of his career designing speaker systems and audio electronics for performing musicians. The switch to precision agriculture came naturally, and he has worked on a wide variety of projects in both cannabis and vegetable production, focusing on LED systems, sensors, power systems and facility design. Mike is the principal of Zartarian Engineering in Boston, MA.