Candidus Receives USDA Grant for Lighting Technology Research
USDA’s Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) recently awarded $25 million in grants designed to help partners implement and evaluate innovative conservation practices that have demonstrated benefits on farmland and in greenhouses.
CEA lighting control specialist company Candidus was awarded a $683,562 Conservation Innovation (CIG) Grant as part of the program.
Out of 97 submitted proposals, only 14 were selected for funding.
Candidus is based out of Athens, Georgia and was co-founded by Dr. Erico Mattos and Dr. Marc van Iersel, “plant guys” who understand the unique challenges of the business. The company’s mission is to reduce the cost of supplemental lighting for greenhouse growers by implementing our adaptive lighting control system. Candidus partners with greenhouses to ensure growers maximize their production while minimizing energy costs.
NRCS Acting Chief Kevin Norton describes the CIG program as follows: “On-Farm Trials help producers improve the health of their operations while at the same time helping NRCS build data to show the benefit of innovative conservation systems and practices applied on the land.”
Working in collaboration with NRCS and CEA farmers across the US, Candidus will implement the adaptive lighting control technology in 12 commercial greenhouses in Virginia, Michigan, and California.
In partnership with EnSave, the University of Georgia and Michigan State University Extension Service, Candidus will:
(a) demonstrate and quantify the environmental and economic benefits the adaptive lighting control can provide to the greenhouse industry at the farm level, state level, and national level;
(b) determine growers’ perception and adoption/rejection considerations for investing in advanced lighting controls;
(c) provide NRCS with practice scenario guidance to facilitate the technology’s integration into programs such as EQIP; and (d) promote awareness of the technology through a variety of outreach activities.
Participating greenhouses will have the opportunity to implement the adaptive lighting control technology for free and will be financially compensate for that. Each greenhouse grower will receive a total of $8,000 over three years:
- $2,000 will be provided to cover initial installation costs
- $2,000 at Year 1 to pay for facility use and to incentivize continued participation
- $2,000 at Year 2 to pay for facility use and to incentivize continued participation
- $2,000 at Year 3 to pay for facility use and to incentivize continued participation