Houweling’s Tomatoes will build an environmentally friendly greenhouse tomato farm in Juab County, Utah, with plans to create more than 280 new jobs. The project, which will be completed in two phases, will include a $79 million in capital investment.
The Utah facility will employ state of the art climate control and sustainability technology, according to the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. It will be heated with waste heat from a nearby natural gas fired electrical generation facility, enabling Houweling to operate with a very low carbon footprint.
Additionally, the facility will utilize waste CO2 off the generators stack to provide CO2 fertilization to tomato crops. PacifiCorp Energy is the Owner/Operator of the Currant Creek Power Plant; Rocky Mountain Power will be supplying the electricity for Houweling’s operations.
“My passion is growing fresh, great tasting tomatoes. I am excited at the opportunity to bring this to the people of Utah. Our farm will not only offer great employment opportunities in Juab County, it will ensure that the people of Utah can enjoy locally grown, fresh, delicious tomatoes 365 days a year,” says Casey Houweling, President/CEO of the company that bears his family namesake.
“I would also like to express our sincere appreciation to PacifiCorp Energy and Rocky Mountain Power for their patience, persistence and can-do spirit in helping us move this project along over the last two years. As far as we are aware, this is the first commercial scale operation in the world that will pull both heat and CO2 directly from a power provider,” he added.
“Houweling’s Tomatoes will positively impact the rural community of Juab County through its expansion and green practices,” said Spencer P. Eccles, Executive Director for the Utah Governor’s Office of Economic Development. “It is encouraging to see a company come to Utah that is innovating and implementing eco-friendly operations.”
“Houweling’s Tomatoes new state of the art facility for growing tomatoes, its strong workforce and innovative method of lowering the carbon footprint within Juab County is exhilarating to the County’s vibrant business community,” stated Rick Carlton, Juab County Commissioner. “GOED, Houweling and Juab County’s hard work over the last year to bring this innovative farm to Juab County demonstrates impressive proof communities and businesses can have both economic success and environmental sustainability.”
“PacifiCorp and Rocky Mountain Power have also found the collaboration rewarding,” says Mickey Beaver, Economic Development Manager. “The project will demonstrate a sustainable technology partnership and environmentally friendly utilization of land, water, waste heat and CO2 to diversify the economy, create jobs and grow exceptional tomatoes. Everyone wins.”
“Utah’s food and agriculture sector, which employs nearly 12,000 people in the state, is incredibly diverse. Houweling’s innovative and sustainable approach to food production adds a unique component to the industry,” said Jeff Edwards, President/CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. “We are absolutely thrilled that Houwelings has chosen Utah for their expansion.”
As part of a contract with Houweling’s Tomatoes, the GOED Board of Directors has approved a maximum cap tax credit of $4,648,270 in the form of a post-performance Economic Development Tax Increment Finance incentive, which is 25.6 percent of the net taxes Houweling’s Utah operation will pay over the 20-year life of the agreement. Each year as Houweling’s meet the criteria in its contract with the state, it will earn a portion of the tax credit incentive.