The goal to start construction for the greenhouse project at Spiritwood is now the summer of 2022, according to Casey Houweling, owner of Houweling's Tomatoes.
Houweling made the announcement at the annual meeting of the Jamestown/Stutsman Development Corp. Wednesday night.
The greenhouse project was originally announced in August 2020 when a letter of intent to construct a 30-acre greenhouse was signed. The project timeline was extended in February with a Sept. 30, 2021, construction start listed in a new memo of understanding.
The project features remain the same with about 30 acres under glass for growing tomatoes and other vegetables. The project's plans include using waste steam from Spiritwood Station, Great River Energy's electrical generating plant at the Spiritwood Energy Park Association industrial park, and carbon dioxide from Dakota Spirit AgEnergy, an ethanol plant also at the SEPA industrial park.
"With all the other industries there we can do this with mostly waste materials," Houweling said, during the JSDC meeting.
There are some challenges in moving the project forward.
"The biggest challenge going forward is how we cost this," Houweling said, referring to determining the costs of construction materials. "We can't even get quotes now."
Another factor is workers. Houweling said in a greenhouse operation, there are many variables such as temperature, light and moisture that are controlled by operators. In outdoor agriculture, those items are still factors in production but not controllable by the operator.
"We need help from the universities of the area to find young people that can control all those dials," Houweling said.
Houweling said the project has been well received by local and North Dakota officials. From a political perspective, the Jamestown project is a lot easier to do than a previous project they did in Utah." (GUESSING THIS IS NOT A QUOTE>>>). ALSO YOU SHOULD CLARIFY MORE>
"Like I said, everyone has been very receptive," he said. "... we still have to put a number of pieces together."
Houweling provided tomatoes for the annual meeting that were served to those attending the JSDC annual meeting.
The meeting also celebrated the announcement by "Company X" of plans to build a soybean crushing plant utilizing the Cargill Malt plant at Spiritwood. Announcements on the project made by North Dakota's congressional delegation referred to the project developer as ADM.
Connie Ova, CEO of the JSDC, said she was required by law to refer to the project developer as Company X until the formal signing of a letter of intent possibly in June.
The JSDC presented its Growing Jamestown Award to Collins Aerospace, which employs about 400 people in the Jamestown area. The Community Development Award was presented to the Jamestown Gymnastics Club.