Fort Wayne Factory Repurposing

4 SKIES International, Inc. (4 SKIES) is proposing a factory repurposing in Fort Wayne, Indiana, by installing a vertical farm operation to take advantage of the space and facilities offered by the property.

The project will encompass a zero emission strategy from 4 SKIES called TRI-GEN-ZERO™ which ensures that all power generated on the site for use by the vertical farm will be CO2 emissions free as 100% of the CO2 will be utilized to enhance plant growth. The Natural Gas power plant, to be purchased from GE, will be capable of producing 30 MW of electricity per hour, 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The annual volume of organic produce to be grown in the vertical farm operation and sold to a national food wholesaler is estimated at 71.6 million lbs.. This represents a potential gross revenue of $383 million in the first full year of production (year 3) rising to $409.5 million by the fifth year. There will be some sales generated in years 1 & 2 as individual grow rooms become functional.

The total cost of this project is estimated to be $516,000,000 and is referenced below.  The final costs are subject to change pending the feasibility study and final engineering for the project.

Project Details  

Project Location Fort Wayne, Indiana
Type of Project Tri-Gen-Zero™ Vertical Farm
Project Cost $516,000,000 USD
Type of Power Technology Natural Gas Simple Cycle
Plant Capacity (electric) 30 MW (net)
Power Plant Efficiency 35% (electric)
Electricity to Grid N/A
Energized Water Production 2.6 million gallons / day 
Type of Crop Technology Vertical Farming
Repurposed Factory Grow Area 2,583,339 square feet
New Vertical Farm Grow Area 1,291,668 square feet
Vertical Farm Produce Potential      71.6 MM lbs. / year
Estimated Time for Completion 18 – 24 months
Project Life Up to 50 years
Zero Carbon Emissions Target 90,666 metric tons CO2e / year
GE Generator

Total Project Cost (USD) 

# Item Description  
1 Hard Costs Plant and Equipment, Greenhouses, Ancillary Facilities   $433,813,125
2 Soft Costs Legal, Contingency and Working Capital $82,186,875
Total $516,000,000

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A feasibility study will be undertaken to confirm the economic viability of the project.

4 SKIES will oversee and coordinate the study involving experts in the power generation and vertical farming industries. When completed, and assuming the study’s findings support the recommendation to pursue the project as proposed, 4 SKIES is prepared to undertake all of the necessary activities to complete the project on a Build, Own and Operate (BOO) basis.

Vertical Gardens

The key features of this vertical farm operation are:

  • The vertical farming operations will produce approximately 71.6 million lbs. of fresh produce annually with virtually no seasonal limitations – the full capacity of which is SOLD at inception.

  • The project will provide 500 - 600 construction jobs over an 18 - 24 month construction period and 1,000 - 1,200 full-time jobs during operations and over the 50-year life of the project. 

  • The technology recommended will be a 3,875,007 square foot vertical farm operation utilizing a natural gas power plant with a rated capacity of 30 MW (net) of electricity - taking advantage of clean, affordable and plentiful natural gas. 

  • The plant will achieve zero CO2 emissions by matching the CO2 requirements of the vertical farm operations with the CO2 output of the natural gas power plant. 

  • Waste from the vertical farm will be processed on site in anaerobic digesters producing biogas that will be refined into natural gas to be consumed by the natural gas power plant.

  • Ancillary facilities involving a Water Purification Plant and a Horticultural R&D Center will be integrated into the project along with space for laboratory and classroom facilities to allow for potential curriculum collaboration with local colleges and universities.

  • The 4 SKIES concept also recommends adopting the idea of opening up areas within the site for other unique and innovative renewable energy technologies such as building integrated photovoltaic (BIPV) solar power, bird-friendly wind turbines, solar and wind-powered streetlights.