The Lubbock Economic Development Alliance (LEDA) announced a public private partnership with Plant Agricultural Systems (PLANT-AS) in Lubbock, TX. Plant Agricultural Systems is an infrastructure service provider delivering both the physical and digital infrastructure necessary to support localized fresh produce demand in all regions of the world. The company’s vision is to dynamically enable society’s transition to more sustainable methods of food production, distribution, and consumption. PLANT-AS will develop over 1,100 acres of advanced Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) production in West Texas as a part of its phase one domestic operations roll out.
PLANT-AS’ Lubbock project includes the development of 13.3M square feet of advanced CEA production facilities on 700 acres located off East Loop 289 and Erskine Street where fresh produce, including, but not limited to, leafy greens and vine crops such as tomatoes, will be produced using state-of-the-art hydroponic technology. The company will be deploying a projected $670M in capital expenditure for the project, which will scale up operations over 10 years to employ over 900 full-time employees with an expected payroll of $45,000,000.
PLANT-AS’ total West Texas operation will include an additional 400 acres in Amarillo. LEDA and the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation (AEDC) have worked in partnership to bring a project of this size and scope to West Texas. The production footprint in West Texas will service the greater Southwestern United States and catalyze impact on a global scale.
“As the U.S. population continues to climb, and Texas doubles its population by 2050, the need for more domestic food is vital,” said LEDA President and CEO, John Osborne. “The expansion of PLANT-AS through this regional partnership not only helps provide food for our growing population, but more importantly provides certainty in our food security with cutting-edge technology that traces where and how food is produced. With a Tier One University known for its food safety research and graduate expertise, this expansion of PLANT-AS solidifies the Panhandle and South Plains as the premier region for safe quality food production.”
The PLANT-AS Distributed Network Production Site (DNPS) model spans multiple U.S. and International markets, including a planned North American build-out of 3,000+ acres of advanced CEA facilities in a multi-year roll-out, making its domestic footprint greater than the sum of all land currently dedicated to CEA in the US.
This expansion accelerates the company’s DNPS delivery and enables the company to support domestic demand at a never before seen scale for CEA. In-line with the company’s prioritization of renewable energy as a key component of its Carbon Transition Infrastructure, wind, which is readily available in the region, will be utilized in the delivery of these facilities. The combined net negative environmental impact of such a power model, along with the advanced production process which uses 70-90% less water than conventional agriculture, is a landmark advancement in resource management for the region and sets a new standard for the industry.
PLANT-AS’ advanced production facilities are modern data centers where Production Technicians will be supported by artificial intelligence processing the widest array of crop-cycle data ever available. The data collected and processed via IBM’s blockchain-supported system is the foundation of a digital infrastructure model that will transform the global food supply chain, empowering decision making and operations for all participants.
“The end-to-end impact PLANT-AS will have on existing food systems begins with the agricultural process and extends all the way through the consumer experience,” said Plant Director of Global Brand Representation, Sara Gaul. “We are thrilled to be a part of the economic growth in West Texas. Together, we are building infrastructure for the future, and people are at the core of everything.”
LEDA anticipates operations to commence approximately 24 months from closing.