Japanese Resort Theme Park Opens 'Plant Factory' Powered by Solar Energy
Huis Ten Bosch, a large resort theme park located in Sasebo City, Nagasaki Prefecture, started operations of a pilot "plant factory" on its premises on November 14, 2009. The unit, funded as one of the 2009 Advanced Plant Factory Promotional Projects sponsored by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, will be the first one in the Kyushu region open to the public. It will be powered primarily by Huis Ten Bosch's onsite photovoltaic (PV) generation system.
A plant factory allows the growing of vegetables indoors all year round. It is a system that artificially creates the environment necessary for plants to grow by controlling the amount of culture solution, air, and light from light-emitting diodes (LED). Because the amount of light, temperature, humidity, and carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration levels can be optimized without being affected by the weather, the growth rate of vegetables is two to four times faster than those grown in open-air fields, and yields are ten to twenty times higher.
Vegetables harvested at the factory are served at Huis Ten Bosch's hotel restaurants for visitors to taste, while vegetable scraps are composted for use on plants in the park. The resort also re-uses the nutrient solution used in the solution culture by spraying it onto park plants.
The PV generation system (900 kilowatts) is located at Huis Ten Bosch's Nagasaki Next-Generation Energy Park. It includes a rechargeable lithium-ion battery system that stores the energy generated by the PV system to light the plant factory at night.
Huis Ten Bosch official website