Vitensa and several other horticulture companies have used geothermal energy since 2016. Geothermal energy is an environmentally friendly method of heat generation. At Vitensa, 75% of all heat is generated this way, which leads to natural gas savings of roughly 4 million m³ and a CO₂ reduction of roughly 5.4 million kg – the equivalent of 2,500 households.
What is geothermal energy?
Geothermal energy is limitless. Natural process in the earth’s crust have produced heat for millions of years and will continue to do so for millions of years. This makes geothermal energy a clean, reliable, and sustainable alternative to fossil fuel. The CO₂ emissions are extremely low and there is no residual waste. Geothermal energy allows us to grow our snack tomatoes in a sustainable way.
Geothermal energy project
Hot water is pumped up
To harness geothermal energy, two well are drilled up to 2,300 metres in the earth known as the production well and the injection well. The hot water from the production well is pumped up. A heat exchanger releases the heat into the cabling routes.
Heat exchanger provides heat for the distribution network
Once the water has released its heat to the greenhouse heating network and then cooled down again, it flows back through the heat exchanger at the source again.
Cooled water is pumped back
The cooled water is then pumped into the ground via the injection well. This maintains constant pressure in the earth. To prevent the lower temperature in the injection well from affecting the temperature in the production well, the wells are located approximately 1,500 to 2,000 metres apart.
Geothermal energy project Vierpolders
Combined heat and power
To support the geothermal heat installation, Vitensa uses a combined heat and power (CHP) system, which is used to convert gas into heat, electricity, and CO₂.
The heat that’s released is used to heat the greenhouse.
Vitensa uses a small amount of the electricity that’s released, but the majority is fed back into the national grid.
The CO₂ that’s released is blown into the greenhouse and helps the tomato plants grow.
Heat buffers that are used to temporarily store surplus heat facilitate high-level energy efficiency.
All of the cooling water from the CHP system is used to heat the greenhouse, which means no energy is wasted.