Sophie Bolich

Rockwell Automation Building Indoor Farm

7,300-square-foot hydroponic vertical farm to be completed by summer 2024.

By - Aug 23rd, 2023 11:08 am
Rockwell Automation, 1201-1251 S. 2nd St. Photo by Mariiana Tzotcheva

Rockwell Automation, 1201-1251 S. 2nd St. Photo by Mariiana Tzotcheva

Rockwell Automation will freshen up its Walker’s Point headquarters with an on-site hydroponic farm, the company announced Wednesday morning.

Rockwell, in partnership with Fork Farms, plans to build a 7,300-square-foot hydroponic vertical farm, making use of underutilized space on the fourth floor of the building, 1201 S. 2nd St.

Clock Tower Farms, named in honor of the iconic Allen-Bradley clock atop the building, is expected to be completed by summer 2024.

Once fully operational, the farm will be capable of producing 540,000 plants and up to 149,000 pounds of food annually — the same yield as three acres of conventional farmland, the company reports.

Blake Moret, chairman and CEO at Rockwell, said that the project will facilitate relationships between the company and its neighbors while serving as an example for other players in the industry.

“Clock Tower Farms will engage employees and the community while serving as a showcase for manufacturers spanning diverse industries who want to see sustainable solutions in action,” Moret said in a statement. “We’re partnering across our industry and within communities to create sustainable impact and change.”

In true fashion, Clocktower Farms will be highly-automated, employing Rockwell technologies to monitor and adjust nutrient, pH, and water levels based on the crops’ specific needs.

Meanwhile, Fork Farms will provide highly-localized HVAC, power, dehumidification and water handling, enabling crops with differing needs to thrive in the same growing area at the same time. 

Clocktower Farms will be the latest of several local projects for Green Bay-based Fork Farms. The agriculture technology company, led by co-founder Alex Tyink, aims to empower people to grow fresh food in any setting.

In Milwaukee, that includes a neighborhood market and a former fire station, both of which use the company’s compact Flex Farms to provide fresh, leafy greens to residents — especially those facing food deserts and insecurity.

At Rockwell, more than 70 “Flex Acres” will be installed in the facility, each capable of producing upwards of 100 pounds of leafy greens and other vegetables each month.

More information about the farms will be released as construction wraps up next year. “We look forward to sharing more details next summer upon the project’s completion,” Moret said. 

Rockwell Automation is headquartered in a 3-million-square-foot building spread across several city blocks. Originally built as the headquarters for Allen-Bradley, the building is now the headquarters of AB parent Rockwell Automation.

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Categories: Food & Drink

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