Massive greenhouse switches to biomass for heat [video]

Metrolina Greenhouses in Huntsville, N.C., is converting from natural gas to biomass thanks to funding from GM's Chevrolet division.

I have written a couple of times about the efforts of General Motors' Chevrolet division to help fund community projects focused on meaningful, measurable carbon reduction -- to the tune of $40 million. One of those projects focuses on a renewable energy conversion for the nation's largest single-story building, a massive greenhouse owned by Metrolina in North Carolina that covers more than 120 football fields.

The company has received money from Chevrolet to convert the heating systems for the greenhouse from natural gas to biomass. The biomass comes from waste wood from land clearing in Huntsville, N.C. The company expects to use about 36,000 tons of waste wood annually. Noted Abe VanWingerden, co-CEO of Metrolina Greenhouses:

"As a large-scale operation delivering approximately 70 million plants a year, we're committed to activities like this that help us become a greener greenhouse. When our biomass boilers are burning these wood chips, you can't even tell they're running."

The project (as well as Chevrolet's funding program, which aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 8 million metric tons over the next five years) is detailed in the video below:

Related stories on SmartPlanet:

GM identifies community carbon-reduction projects
GM earmarks $40 million for community clean energy projects

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