The construction of a greenhouse that will be powered by recycled energy from a data center is underway.
– The first step is to build a 300 square meter greenhouse that shows that it works here, the next step is to scale up to large greenhouses, says Håkan Nordin, business developer at Boden Development.
Several companies are collaborating on the project in the old military area AF1. The international company Genesis operates the data center, which is half a megawatt and whose waste heat will power the 300 square meter greenhouse. Boden Business Park and Boden’s Development are building the heat transfer part together with the local company Ventilationsfirma IM and multinational Systemair. Luleå University of Technology and the Swedish research institute RISE are also involved in the project.
Håkan Nordin, business developer at Boden’s Development, sees many interesting connections to the greenhouse project. Like that we should be able to become more self-sufficient through food production all year round, to be able to technically reuse energy, circular connections with the biogas but also from a social perspective. The greenhouse will be an environment that can develop people who today are further away from the labor market.
– The first step is to build a 300 square meter greenhouse that shows that it works here, the next step is to scale up to large greenhouses. We also look at aquaponi, combined vegetable and fish farms and different types of protein farms, such as insects. For one thing is for sure, there will be opportunities for many exciting side effects to the energy-intensive establishments that exist and are at the entrance to Boden, says Håkan Nordin.
The local contractor Sture Nordmark, Nordmark AB, is responsible for the construction of the greenhouse. He has long worked smartly with both circular economy and recycling. The approximately one meter high wall to which the steel structure is attached is bricked with recycled brick. Seven or eight years ago, Sture Nordmark tried to run its own greenhouse in Boden. It ran aground because it became too expensive heat and too expensive electricity. Now the hope is to produce goods that can be sold to stores in Boden and the rest of Norrbotten.
– With the modern LED lights and the proximity to the data hall, it is a completely different opportunities now, says Sture Nordmark.
Håkan Nordin, Helena Löfgren, Sture Nordmark
The labor market unit in Boden will conduct operations in the greenhouse through the social fund project Växtzon Oändlig. The target group for the business is people who have had difficulty finding a job and who have often been in long-term unemployment. The target group is also young adults who have chosen to finish or not start upper secondary school at all.
Helena Löfgren is a labor market consultant and project manager for Växtzon Oändlig.
– We need more workplaces in Boden where people can get a paid job adapted to their own abilities. In view of the coming need for labor, it is now even more important that the municipality acts as an enabler for the creation of more such workplaces. One form can be social entrepreneurship.
By the autumn of 2022, the goal is for the municipality of Boden to create an environmentally and climate-smart social innovation through the project through a new way of working where people in long-term unemployment or long-term sick leave have approached or established themselves in the labor market. That conditions have been created for a broader range of education that meets a new need for skills for cultivation in the subarctic climate.
– There is therefore a need for a broader understanding of how the municipality as an employer can enable. It’s not really that difficult, but it requires a different mindset where you look at the benefits to society and what people can actually do, rather than what they cannot. The “let’s try” mentality is so important in these matters, says Helena Löfgren.
Through Boden Business Park, the municipality of Boden cooperates with the Swedish Energy Agency. The purpose of the collaboration is to promote a holistic view of energy use and promote future development of industry, primarily in IT-related industries and food production. One way is to take advantage
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