Intelligent Growth Solutions (IGS) has secured a partnership with vertical farming business Eden Towers, to power a commercial scale vertical farm in Western Australia.
A new solar-powered farm with support from IGS will be an Australian-first, growing leafy greens, specialty crops and begin the development of indigenous crops.
The farm will be located next door to the Shire of Murray’s Western Australian Food Innovation Precinct (WAFIP) in Nambeelup (south of Perth) in the Peel Business Park.
The four-tower industrial scale farm will be the centrepiece of the site. It will generate 120 tonnes of produce per annum when it is fully operational next year – including lettuce, spinach, kale and basil, as well as the indigenous crops.
The indigenous crop programme is supported by the key WAFIP collaborators and championed by the Peel Development Commission.
Working alongside Winjan Aboriginal Corporation, Eden Towers and IGS will first use the vertical farm near Perth to grow food crops like the warrigal plant, a type of bush tucker spinach, and bush tucker celery, with a view to broaden this over time to pharmaceutical and cosmetic crops. It also plans to support reforestation projects in the area.
The project has also secured funding from the WAFIP’s Enterprise Support Programme and the Regional Economic Development (RED) Grant from the State Government.
Capitalising on a large market for fresh and high-quality produce at an accessible price, Eden Towers seeks to disrupt the way produce is grown and delivered. With plans to expand operations to each major city in Australia and into Asia, Eden Towers combines operational knowledge, innovation in packaging and best in class IGS technology to crack the formula for profitable vertical farming.
Scottish-headquartered IGS has been appointed to build four 12-metre-high Growth Tower structures, which will create a precision-controlled indoor ecosystem where plants can thrive all year round without soil. The farm will use 98% less water and achieve up to 15 times the yield of a greenhouse or open field. A traditional field would require 6,000m2 of space to produce the equivalent yield.
Construction will begin in Q1 2022, and the farm will be fully operational by early Q4 2022. It will be Australia’s first farm to be powered by up to 100% solar power, with the aim of it becoming entirely carbon neutral by 2024, solidifying Eden Towers’ commitment to improving sustainability across Australia’s agriculture industry.
The farm in Perth will also be supported by local agriculture provider, Bon Pty Ltd, which will deliver the seed to harvest line automation and vertical farm project management.
David Farquhar, CEO at IGS, said: “Australia’s agricultural production is growing, but it’s vital that’s delivered in an environmentally sustainable way if we’re to curb the emissions our farming habits produce globally.
“Eden Towers is passionate about sustainable farming across Australia, and we’re excited that they have chosen our platform to help deliver this project and to support indigenous crop growth and the local community.”