Under Sun Acres was founded by Leamington-based bell pepper grower Chris Del Greco in 2017. That same year the start was made for the construction of a 10 hectares high tech Venlo style greenhouse.
Together with their Canadian partner Universal Fabricating Inc, Bom Group realized the completion of this project in 2018.
The greenhouse is equipped with diffuse glass to provide even light distribution across the crop while energy curtains and polycarbonate walls minimize heat loss during the winter months. They operation uses a closed loop water supply, to maximize the use of rainwater, and installed a filtration system that includes UV sterilization.
The facility is also equipped with an extensive packing line. "When you produce upwards of 25,000 kilograms of sweet bell peppers per day, you need a well-orchestrated grading and sorting operation. Automated dumping, sorting, and stacking systems are utilized to move product as efficiently as possible while maintaining the highest of quality standards", they explain on their website. This means they now have two automated machines and various customized packaging solutions, all food safety certified to Primus GFS standards. In addition, the product is transported into the sorting room by self-riding vehicles.
Under Sun Acres also invested in the installation of a CHP system. Under Sun Acres is in the process of commissioning four combined heat and power reciprocating gas engines. The engines will supply the Ontario electricity grid with 13 MW of electricity, and waste heat recovered from the engine exhaust and jacket will be utilized to heat the greenhouse. With realized efficiencies of almost 95% these engines serve a two-fold purpose.
Currently phase 2, an expansion of another 10 hectares of high-tech production greenhouses, is underway and almost completed. With this current expansion the total greenhouse surface will surpass 20 hectares (approximately 50 acres).