“Our LED growth lights are helping manufacturers reduce their energy costs,” said James Fleet of GE Current, a Daintree company that will soon be renamed Current. With that in mind, we have also looked at another challenge, namely how we can help them switch to LED lamps. Today, many offer energy-saving technologies, but how do you combine them with a tool for easy implementation?
This is where our funding packages come in. We have found a way to soften manufacturers’ capital investments in LED projects, “says James.
Current has a long history of lighting dating back to the time of Thomas Edison, the inventor of the incandescent lamp, and has been manufacturing lamps for 130 years. Their horticultural specialization dates back to 2011, when the focus was originally on vertical farming. Today, the company provides lighting and control solutions for both vertical farms and greenhouses. In addition to its presence in the United States, Current is also involved in various projects in Europe, such as cucumber and tomato projects in Finland, tomato, lettuce and strawberry projects in the United Kingdom, and tomato and flower growing projects in northern Italy and Spain.
“Our basic philosophy is always the same, regardless of the crop, which is to enable growers to easily implement reliable and sustainable lighting and control solutions that improve their yields while reducing their energy consumption.”
According to James, LED lamps are now considered as proven technology in the market. “The skepticism of the early days has largely disappeared, as studies have shown that LED has no effect on yield. HPS is of course also a proven technology, but one that consumes power. This brings us to the core of why LED lamps are has become more interesting, and it is that growers today need to do something to reduce their high operating costs (COPEX) to energy, and LED lighting is an easy way to do this. “
Make technology available
The challenge, however, has another side, and that is making this technology available to growers. GE Current, a company from Daintree, has developed models that allow growers to easily implement this technique. James explains that three key points have been looked at to ensure a successful transition. “The first is that yields are never compromised. In recent years, there has been a trend in the horticultural sector where efficiency is more important than yields, with an emphasis on the best lamp and the most efficient light spectrum. From an energy point of view of But a so-called ‘efficient’ technology must also be effective for the performance of the plants. We do not want to sacrifice the yield by using growth light. ”
“In addition, we will never ever compromise on product quality,” James added. “The technology has been tried and tested, and we believe we have the best competencies to help growers reduce their energy consumption while maintaining their usual yields. This has become even more interesting now that energy prices have risen sharply and if we “We believe forecasts are becoming even more expensive. Investing in LED lamps provides energy savings of 50% to 60%.”
He cites Holland as an example. “Energy prices have risen from € 0.07 per kWh to € 0.15 and in the near future it will be € 0.20. This means a doubling of the costs for growers. With our LED technology, we keep it simple, and we offer a one-to-one replacement that does not require diversion of the existing electrical setup and delivers the same 400W, 600W or 1,000W output as HPS, but reduces energy costs by 60% By investing in LEDs, operating costs can be significantly reduced. “
Leasing to ease construction costs
LED lamps are more expensive than HPS lamps and the market is challenging at the moment. “For this reason, we have developed models to facilitate the cash flow prior to the purchase of LED. In short, this means that Current can finance the replacement of an LED lighting system. The company offers contracts covering 50% to 100% of CAPEX – take over investment expenses with a maturity of one, three or five years.
Local grant opportunities
Since its introduction, the system has been used in various greenhouse complexes throughout Europe. “We have developed a number of financing models that are specifically tailored to the markets in which we operate. For example, growers in the Netherlands have access to subsidy schemes other than growers in Finland. We are removing CAPEX from the initial decision-making process and replacing it with a plan where “Energy savings exceed investments. Overall, this gives growers a model that shows how LED can be implemented. We help them become more energy efficient and maintain their cash flow, which is necessary in the current economic situation. “