Riyad, Saudi Arabia: Sun Capture is proud to announce that is has received the ‘Project Excellence Award – Agrivoltaic Project’ award, last week during the ‘SolarQuarter Business Meet Awards 2022 ‘ in Saudi Arabia. The award was due to a project executed by Sun Capture, powering a sustainable and commercially viable vertical farm of an area of 900 m2 through renewable energy, specifically solar Photovoltaic (Solar PV) energy.
The solar energy generated provides sufficient supply of power to raise and nurture plant seeds in a nursey room, desalinate water by utilizing an existing Reverse Osmosis plant (RO Plant), cultivate crops via hydroponic solutions and operate packaging and cold storage rooms.
The vertical farm project succeeded in providing a viable and nurturing environment to produce crops, further supporting the Kingdom’s agricultural development through renewable energy, manifesting two pillars of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030.
“By considering the major factors that play a vital role into the growth of crops such as providing adequate light, temperature, humidity, nutrients, ventilation and water, vertical farming provides the perfect scalable and flexible approach. The systems substantially enhances the growing conditions of crops by accelerating their growth, increases crop yield, and reduces the need for pesticides use and water consumption, making it a completely all-natural and sustainable method of food production. Vertical farming also plays a significant role protecting and sheltering plants from harmful atmospheric elements, by optimizing and utilizing suitable equipment which influences and ultimately modifies the crops microclimate.” – explains Mohammed Aljoaib, Managing Director at Sun Capture
Vertical farm production has a higher return per unit area in comparison to conventional open field farming. This is achieved by implementing Hydroponic systems stacked vertically – where cultivation of all crops occurs in growing mediums in interconnected water networks. Hydroponics method of farming uses less water compared to conventional farming by employing a connected network of drip irrigation directly feeding into the growing mediums of crops. This method uses 95% less water than conventional farming, due to the sacrificed abundance of water needed to be used on soil for it to get absorbed by the plant, where the vast majority is wasted due to evaporation. Hydroponic systems not only use less water, but also recycles the little amount of water used back into the crops. In addition, vertical farming systems are in enclosed climate-controlled environment, which makes allows the crops to grow all-year-round, independently of their growing seasons. Unlike conventional farming that requires a suitable space, climate and soil, vertical farms are not restricted to any type of land or the amount of space and can even be built in urban environments.
The use of solar PV energy to supply most of the power to the vertical farm, further maximizes system efficiency and sustainability. The award is a testament to Sun Capture’s dedication to transform the Kingdom’s energy reliance towards clean and renewable power, and will continue to serve the Saudi Arabia’s commercial and residential sectors with a full-suite of solar services.