The North Country Growers (NCG) project has achieved its initial funding milestone that will enable NCG to continue its forward momentum. NCG is expected to complete construction by this fall and begin operations in Q4 2023 in a market yearning for fresh and affordable produce. This project has strong state and local support and is expected to bring 83 full-time jobs to the area once 20 acres of greenhouses are in operation.
Jack Daley, Project Manager for the Berlin, NH facility, says, “We are extremely pleased to have completed this round of funding as it allows us to purchase all the materials and equipment needed to complete construction of the first greenhouse in 2023. This past fall, we finished site preparation and installed the foundations of the steel substructure, and we are anxious to resume construction this spring and begin growing fresh produce in Q4.”
This $37.5 million project will leverage Combined Heat and Power (CHP) technology, using natural gas to create electricity on-site while capturing waste heat and carbon dioxide. The heat from the CHP system is expected to save ~11,700 MMBtu per acre each year in heating, and the use of supplemental carbon dioxide in the greenhouse will boost yields by 30%. At the same time, these systems will provide NCG with a lower delivered cost per pound of salad greens compared to standard indoor farming operations.
Mike O’Mara, President of Ozone Capital Markets, LLC, who is assisting NCG in this project, commented: “Food security has become a major issue in the Northeast. Most of the produce consumed in this region is transported from the West Coast. A number of factors, including higher diesel and fertilizer prices, have contributed to making healthy produce unaffordable to many. Large industrial greenhouses, located in colder climates, leveraging CHP technology is likely the most efficient option to solving food security issues.”
Ozone Capital Markets LLC is an independent consulting firm helping individuals, family offices, and other institutional investors identify and connect with Qualified Opportunity Zone (QOZ) projects. As the number and diversification of QOZ funds increase, Ozone Capital Markets looks to serve as a resource to help educate and navigate the space.