HENDERSONVILLE – A new high-tech greenhouse is coming to Henderson County along with “green-collar” jobs and a $21 million investment.

BrightFarms, a startup backed by a variety of investors, announced Wednesday it would build a huge 280,000 square foot hydroponic greenhouse in Henderson County for the production of packaged salads.

The project means 54 jobs, according to the North Carolina Department of Commerce.

Jobs will pay an average of $41,693 which is higher than the average wage in Henderson County of $38,297.

The greenhouse will be able to produce as much as 2 million pounds of “leafy greens” a year when it operates at full production. It will be the sixth BrightFarms location. Other operations are located in Illinois, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Ohio.

BrightFarms announced an expansion plan in February following a $55 million round of venture financing in 2018. Among its clients is Walmart.

“The new greenhouses will each be 280,000 square feet and sit on 20 acres of land,” it said.

“Each greenhouse is expected to create around 55 full-time ‘green-collar’ jobs for residents, offering competitive wages and benefits.”

“The inspiration for BrightFarms grew out of our desire to grow food in the same communities where it’s consumed— food that’s fresher, tastier, and better for the environment,” the company says.

BrightFarms says its local-focused operations use 80 percent less water, 90 percent less land and require 95 percent less shipping fuel than traditional field-grown produce which is transported across long distances.

The company received a One North Carolina Fund grant of $55,000 if conditions of the agreement with the state are met.