The Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering Consortium (GLASE) was featured in The Polytechnic, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute’s student-run newspaper, July 17:
One of the many aspects of Rensselaer’s environmentally-conscious research enterprise revolves around sustainable and clean food, water, and energy supplies under President Jackson’s research paradigm known as “The New Polytechnic.” A new public-private research consortium called GLASE, or the Greenhouse Lighting and Systems Engineering Consortium, was announced at a press conference in the Darrin Communications Center at Rensselaer.
The consortium will be led by researchers at Cornell University and Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with the goal of transforming the way greenhouses operate in order to reduce electricity usage by up to seventy percent. The seven year, $5 million project is currently being funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority in order to advance Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard that aims to have 50 percent of electricity come from renewable sources by 2030, satisfying requirements held by the Paris Climate Accords and the federal Clean Power Plan.
Plant physiology expert Dr. Tessa Pocock, senior research scientist at the Center for Lighting Enabled Systems and Applications, will lead Rensselaer’s portion of the investigation focusing primarily on systems engineering applications.
“The engineered LED lighting and sensing systems with advanced feedback control are being pioneered at LESA. Integrated with Cornell’s advanced greenhouse management technologies, GLASE has the potential to create a more sustainable and profitable greenhouse industry. The systems engineering expertise at LESA and the agriculture expertise at Cornell make this an ideal partnership,” said NYSERDA.
Dr. Neil Mattson, an associate professor in horticulture at Cornell’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will be the principal investigator at Cornell, determining precise LED light conditions needed for tomatoes and strawberries, both commonly grown in commercial greenhouses. Mattson, who directs the Controlled Environmental Agriculture Group at Cornell CALS, said investment in energy-efficient greenhouse lighting will ensure New York’s leadership in local food production and that reactive LED lighting, much of which is currently being developed at Rensselaer, will enable optimal lighting conditions in greenhouses.