The state of global agriculture demands action to be able to feed the rapidly growing population and to defend against changing climate conditions. We have found a way to help.
We are dedicated to creating solutions to food insecurity and the environmental damage that can be caused by agriculture.
We developed the idea over the course of multiple years after working in physical commodities, studying the food supply chain and global macro-economic trends including population growth and its impact on sustainability and climate change. We subsequently developed a concept featuring a scalable platform that combine vertical agriculture and energy that could be replicated in multiple environments in the US and internationally.
Empire State Greenhouses is the collaborative initiative of a group of deeply committed specialists. We see our endeavor as a way to solve many challenges at once: furthering food safety and security; growing year-round local organic produce close to major markets; mitigating environmental damage caused by traditional farming; producing renewable energy for our needs and providing excess energy to the surrounding community; creating good jobs in an economically challenged region; providing training and jobs to graduates of the adjacent college; and creating multiple income streams and significantly better margins than traditional agriculture to the benefit of all concerned.
ESG’s advanced system of controlled environment agriculture, automated vertical growing systems, and strict organic practices in a beyond net zero, carbon negative facility presents a comprehensive solution: grow far more high-quality produce, in far less space, closer to major markets, while tackling agricultural pollution and producing renewable energy on-site not only for itself but benefitting the surrounding community as well.
Simply put, we bring together the talent and experience needed to ensure success in every aspect of the operation. Our team includes experts in renewable energy, organic farming, sustainable agriculture, supply chain, project finance, managing, transporting and marketing commodities, literally every facet is in the hands of the best in their fields.
Over the past decade, the ESG team has developed, financed, advised and/or evaluated over 600 commercial and utility scale renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, utilizing virtually every major clean energy technology.
We are focused on carbon negative vertical farming powered by renewable energy that we will produce on site, which is a breakthrough in controlled environment agriculture. Our dramatic reduction in power costs allows us grow at lower cost than conventional means, offering better margins and strong financial outlook. We will be producing 50 different types of vegetables close to major urban markets. Our system is scalable and can be deployed nationally and internationally.
To address the challenges of climate change, dwindling land and water resources, rising populations, and the need to produce more food in the next few decades than has been grown in the last eight-thousand years, ESG has created a system that reinvents the way we produce, process, package, transport, store and distribute food.
ESG’s advanced system of controlled environment agriculture, automated vertical growing systems, and strict organic practices in a beyond net zero, carbon negative facility presents a comprehensive solution: grow far more high-quality produce, in far less space than conventional means, closer to major markets, while tackling agricultural pollution and producing renewable energy on-site not only for itself, but benefitting the adjacent college and surrounding community as well.
Vulnerabilities in our food supply chain as exposed by COVID-19 must be addressed to support greater food safety and security. Our facility has a great emphasis on hygiene, packaging and processing. ESG’s Biosafety Design will include MERV-17 air filtration, implementation of Biosafety Levels (BSL), and operational practices including the use of automation/AI to augment workers to maintain hygiene, personal protective equipment, automated processing and packaging.
The manner in which food is packaged is one of the key factors to minimizing the potential spread of pathogens like COVID-19, as well as preserving freshness and flavor. We will use all biodegradable packaging, including biodegradable plastics.
We have chosen an Ideal location for a number of reasons:
- Proximity to major urban markets, within a two-to-three-hour drive, as opposed to the seven-to-ten days required from California and the Southwest, allows us to provide fresher vegetables without carbon producing, expensive long distance shipping.
- Upstate New York has large tracts of suitable land available for an operation requiring substantial acreage.
- ESG’s facility is adjacent to SUNY Cobleskill, one of the nation’s top colleges of agriculture and technology. ESG plans to bring over 90 full time jobs and more than 400 indirect jobs to the area, including internship, research and employment opportunities for SUNY Cobleskill students and members of the campus community, helping to build a skilled locally rooted workforce in this traditionally agricultural region.
ESG is building a multilayer a growing system consisting of 14 racks arrayed vertically, which will grow crops using various technologies and tailored conditions. We’re able to rotate and grow approximately 50 different crops using all renewable energy, including an on-site solar farm and biogas digester to power our entire operation.
We control every growing variable such as temperature, humidity, light and nutrients for the needs of each specific crop, including the CO2 used in the greenhouses.
- Leafy greens including arugula lettuces, collard, kale, radicchio, spinach and more
- A wide variety of mushrooms
- Fruiting crops including tomatoes, bell peppers, hot peppers, strawberries
- A full range of culinary herbs and medicinal herbs
We are planning to create over 90 full time jobs at ESG and more than 400 indirect jobs in the area, including internship, research and employment opportunities for SUNY Cobleskill students and members of the campus community.
Approximately 80% of the jobs that we are creating will require college degrees in subjects such as biology, horticulture, physics, chemistry, business accounting, and technology. Approximately 20% of our positions will not require a college degree, specifically in packaging, processing, transportation and other back office employment.
These factors are important for SUNY Cobleskill and for the region. By providing graduates with excellent jobs, we are helping to solve a problem that many rural areas face: keeping educated, skilled young people in the area. Our ultimate goal is to create jobs that pay roughly 150% of the median wage in the region.