Date of Award


Publication Type


Degree Name



Civil and Environmental Engineering


Greenhouse sector, Distributed Energy Resource, Ontario, Lighting, Vegetable greenhouse







Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.


The vegetable greenhouse sector is rapidly growing and adopting technology advances like supplemental lighting. Supplemental lighting has a dynamic impact on the demand and consumption of a greenhouse’s electricity load. There is uncertainty on the rate of adaptation of technologies and the impact this could have on the power consumption of the sector. Without electricity availability, the sectors innovation and expansion can come to a halt. This research focused on investigating greenhouse electrical load models and lighting trends to forecast demand on electricity grids and discover potential for Distributed Energy Resource (DER) applications.

This thesis presents a series of studies developed and implemented with commercial greenhouse data and industry standards in Ontario. First, an electrical load model was developed using commercial greenhouse data to differentiate between unlit and lit greenhouse consumption. The use of ten commercial and literature-based combinations of lighting and fixtures resulted in certain combinations and fixtures providing significant electricity consumption savings but displayed a greater capital cost. This model also demonstrated a significant increase in electricity demand and consumption when applying lighting to an unlit pepper vegetable sector. An analysis was then conducted by forecasting the implications of 75% of the Ontario vegetable greenhouse sector adopting lighting. This model normalized the current sectors electrical grid and produced a grid multiplier for lighting scenarios varying in intensity, type, and harvesting area. The findings demonstrated that with careful lighting selection and limitations of lighting intensity, the electrical grid can implement guidelines to regulate and prevent extreme loads from the greenhouse sector. Lastly, an analysis was preformed to illustrate the demand and electrical consumption of five vegetable greenhouses, individually and as a five-grower network. DER designs including cogeneration and battery were developed for the greenhouses and five- grower network. The results show that by creating a network, there can be significant reduction in DER capacity and subsequently financial cost. Outcomes from this study confirm that creating greenhouse networks can allow for greenhouses to self-generate at a reasonable cost using DERs. Together these works combine to form a valuable analysis tool on the greenhouse sectors electrical load and provides potential solutions to moderate the power growth of the sector.