ONTARIO — A massive, indoor tomato-growing operation in Wayne County is getting even bigger this month, and it’s receiving additional help from the New York Power Authority, which is providing low-cost hydropower.
Intergrow is close to completing an $8.5 million, 10-acre addition to its Timothy Lane operations off Route 104.
James Williams, Intergrow’s business development manager, said the expansion will be completed this week, with tomato plants arriving Aug. 9.
“This greenhouse will produce over 3 million pounds of fresh produce, with production throughout the winter months, and we are always looking for individuals to join our team,” Williams said.
The expansion is the second of three construction phases for the Ontario location. It will increase Intergrow’s artificial light production capabilities through the winter months.
Williams said Phase 3, which is planned for 2023, calls for a 25-acre expansion.
“After the completion of Phase 2 in Ontario this month, Intergrow will have 105 acres of greenhouses,” he said. “Completion of Phase 3 in 2023 would put us at 130 acres in total.”
The company said demand for greenhouse-grown produce is increasing, especially in the winter.
Intergrow Greenhouses said it is the largest greenhouse grower in New York, with three separate facilities — they also have plants in Albion, Orleans County, and Portageville, Wyoming County.
The company utilizes artificial light to produce a variety of tomatoes year, including tomatoes on the vine, cherry tomatoes on the vine, grape tomatoes, medley tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes.
The 10-acre greenhouse was prefabricated by Havecon Horticultural Projects in Europe, with the parts sent to the United States in over 100 shipping containers, the company said.
Intergrow originally planned to build the hydroponically grown tomatoes at a complex proposed for Webster, Monroe County. However, resident opposition resulted in the company moving the operation to neighboring Ontario.
Intergrow tomatoes can be found at a number of regional and national grocers, including Aldi and Tops.
Brian Pincelli, the county’s economic development director, is pleased with the company’s progress
“We’re happy to see Intergrow hit the next phase of their project in Ontario,” he said. “They have had some great success, and we’re proud to have them here in Wayne County.”
The New York Power Authority is assisting in Intergrow’s expansion by allocating 5,826 kilowatts, helping the company retain 60 jobs and create 25 more.
In a press release, Gov. Andrew Cuomo lauded the state’s program to provide low-cost hydropower for business expansion.
“The ReCharge NY program has incentivized businesses to stay and grow in New York State for nearly a decade,” Cuomo said. “This latest round of hydropower allocations will create hundreds of new jobs and millions of dollars in capital investments, ensuring that New York builds back better by greatly assisting in our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”