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Large-scale circular economy greenhouse next to Tootsi powerfarm to grow tomatoes, fish, and mushrooms

Swedish company Smart Power Farm plans to build a large-scale circular economy greenhouse in Tootsi, West Estonia.

According to the initial plan, tomatoes, fish, and mushrooms will be grown in the greenhouse, which will be built on a plot of nearly five hectares near the Sopi-Tootsi wind and solar farm in Pärnu County, West Estonia. The company plans to sell most of the production on the local market.

“We try to do as natural agriculture as possible,” co-founder of Smart Power Farm Ltd, Malte Binting told ERR. “We don’t want to use chemicals, but natural processes. We grow different plants side by side that support and help each other. We have already started planning and wish to start the construction of the greenhouse in 2025.” The company estimates that the construction of the greenhouse will cost 60 to 80 million euros and will employ at least twenty people.

Combining traditions of bioeconomy with a new value chain

“The business enables Tootsi to carry on its strong traditions of bioeconomy, emphasising the creation of new value chains in the sector – for example, combining innovative IT solutions and automation with food production,” explained Mihkel Kärg, Invest Estonia’s Director of Regional Business Development in West Estonia. “All this comes in addition to contributing to the food security of Estonia and the surrounding region.” Kärg also stressed that locally-produced food decreases carbon footprint, compared to importing food products.

As the greenhouse property is located near the wind farm, it will receive energy via a direct line, without paying transfer fees. This possibility, available within a six-kilometre radius from the substation, is an important measure to attract energy-intensive businesses.

Unique cooperation between energy and food sectors

Estonia, like many other countries, is looking to modernise its agricultural sector and increase self-sufficiency. This move aligns with the European Union’s strategies for rural development and environmental sustainability, which encourage using renewable energy and reducing carbon footprint in food production.

The Tootsi greenhouse project could serve as a model for similar initiatives in Estonia and across Europe, demonstrating the viability of technologically advanced agriculture in colder climates.

Electricity produced by wind and solar farms, such as the one in Tootsi, is carbon neutral and adds affordable electricity to the market. This contributes towards the achievement of Estonia’s climate goals and ensures energy security.

Compared to electricity produced from coal, the annual production of the hybrid wind and solar park prevents the emission of almost 700,000 tons of CO2 into the air.

The municipality of Põhja Pärnumaa receives direct financial benefits from the wind park every year, according to the national local benefit model. The sum transferred to the local government’s budget depends on the wind farm’s production and the price of electricity. It is estimated to be between 300,000 and 600,000 euros per annum. The Sopi-Tootsi windpark is the biggest in the Baltics.

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