Quantcast
Popular
Metropolis Farms

'World's First' Solar-Powered Indoor Farm Coming to Philadelphia

Looks like Philadelphia's first indoor vertical farm will also be the world's first to go completely solar.

Metropolis Farms, which operates out of a warehouse in South Philly, has switched on its massive 100,000 sq. foot rooftop array, according to a company blog post. The system's 2,003 solar panels generates more than half a megawatt of energy to entirely power an indoor vertical farm being built on the floor underneath.


The "world's first completely solar-powered indoor farm" will grow the equivalent of 660 outdoor acres' worth of crops annually after planting starts in November, the company announced.

"Before starting this project, the fourth floor of this building was only growing pigeons," the blog post said. "But now, using our innovative technology that can uniquely grow everything, this solar powered indoor farm will be growing fresh tomatoes, strawberries, lettuce, herbs, broccoli, and other crops for local Philadelphians."

"We feel this inherently demonstrates the wonder of this new industry we're helping create, the industry of indoor farming."

Compared to traditional farming, indoor vertical farms are touted for their considerable savings in water (because it just circulates via pumps), pesticide-use, space, food-transportation miles, as well as the ability to grow food year-round thanks to artificial lighting.

Critics, however, say that the growth lights and water pumps are too energy-intensive and prohibitively expensive to operate.

But Metropolis Farms contends that its new solar rooftop "will provide a sufficient amount of energy to power the farm below."

"The truth is, like any technology, indoor farming is constantly improving upon itself," the company points out. The farm has achieved further energy efficiencies through "innovative lighting (not LEDs), BTU management systems, and other means to dramatically reduce the amount of energy our farms are using."

The company adds it is "on the cusp of a breakthrough in a technology that will reduce our energy usage even further" and will be demonstrating the advancement at this year's Indoor Ag-Con in Philadelphia.

"We got into vertical farming to help the planet and local communities. And that mission includes a commitment to using renewable energy when and where appropriate to reduce our carbon footprint as much as possible," Metropolis Farms says.

"We hope others will follow our lead and start building farms of the future, so communities everywhere can benefit from having a quality local food source that grows crops responsibly."

Show Comments ()

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Sponsored
Animals
White-tailed deer flee in a nighttime photograph. George Shiras

People Are So Annoying That Animals Are Becoming More Nocturnal

By Jason Bittel

It's official: Animals around the world are sick of our sh . . . enanigans.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
Emilie Chen / Flickr / CC BY-ND 2.0

Against All Odds, Mountain Gorilla Numbers Are on the Rise

By Jason Bittel

The news coming out of East Africa's Virunga Mountains these days would have made the late (and legendary) conservationist Dian Fossey very happy. According to the most recent census, the mountain gorillas introduced to the world in Gorillas in the Mist, Fossey's book and the film about her work, have grown their ranks from 480 animals in 2010 to 604 as of June 2016. Add another couple hundred apes living in scattered habitats to the south, and their population as a whole totals more than 1,000. Believe it or not, this makes the mountain gorilla subspecies the only great apes known to be increasing in number.

Keep reading... Show less
Food
Garlic mustard flower. Gary J. Wood / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

10 Edible Weeds Likely Growing in Your Yard

By Brian Barth

You work so hard on your vegetable garden, primping and pruning to the point of exhaustion each spring. One of the biggest chores, of course, is weeding. But in doing so, you might be throwing away valuable produce.

Keep reading... Show less
Health
Pixabay

If Meditation Is Not Your Thing, Try a Walk in the Woods

By Karin Klein

There are times when I don't know what to do with myself. I feel at odds with the world, irritated by the people in it, in a funk about myself and what I'm achieving or, rather, not achieving, overwhelmed by the obstacles and complications of life. Happiness seems like an entirely elusive state of being.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Insights
Bill Hinton / Getty Images

Fake Grassroots Campaigns Deserve Uprooting

AstroTurf looks and feels like grass—in an all-too-perfect way. But it's not grass.

Now the well-known artificial turf's brand name has taken on a new meaning, referring to purported "grassroots" efforts that are actually funded and supported by industry and political entities.

Keep reading... Show less
Animals
A photo posted by Hard to Port shows an Icelandic company having killed what some say is an endangered blue whale. Hard to Port / Facebook

Some Experts Say Icelandic Whaling Company Killed an Endangered Blue Whale

Anti-whaling group Hard to Port posted photos on their Facebook page Tuesday that activist group Sea Shepherd claims show an endangered blue whale recently killed by an Icelandic whaling company, the Australian ABC News reported Thursday.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored
Health

Kentucky Law Could Restrict Health Care for Miners Suffering From Black Lung Disease

A Kentucky law that goes into effect Saturday could make it more difficult for miners suffering from black lung to claim federal benefits, Vice News reports.

The law mandates that only five of Kentucky's 11 pulmonologists, or lung experts, may examine miners' X-rays in benefit claims.

Keep reading... Show less
Popular
Yannick Croissant / CC BY 2.0

Sorry AC/DC, Rock and Roll Is Noise Pollution

By John R. Platt

It's a rare scientific paper that cites both biologist E.O. Wilson and AC/DC guitarist Angus Young.

Keep reading... Show less
Sponsored

mail-copy

The best of EcoWatch, right in your inbox. Sign up for our email newsletter!