Controlled Environmental Farming Inc and Clarke Energy USA are partnering together to engineer, construct and operate an Urban Agriculture CEA facility in Rosemount, MN. Building is to start this summer, with completion of a complete campus including the CEA facility, an education and learning center, offices and technical buildings 18 months later.
"CEF intends to address the demand for locally grown food at competitive and consistent pricing through the construction of a new, IP pending, organic standards food production facility," says Bruce Carman, initiator of the project. "This initial facility, located in the Biscayne Business Park in Rosemount, will be the Proof of Concept of our model combining urban farming, innovative production and CHP / Renewable Energy Integration."
The campus will use a 20 MW Combined Heat and Power (CHP) for its heating, cooling and power needs, while also integrating CO2 capture for plant growth enhancement. In addition to this four story, 350,000 sf aquaponic - hydroponic food production structure, the campus is also to include a two story, 29,000 sf Early Learning Center / Office / Education building and a four story, 200,000 sf building housing the CHP Powerhouse and future product production operations.
Clarke Energy USA's CHP integration equipment will permit CEF to have operational cost control over energy costs, provide grid free operations and may provide a revenue source during peak periods of regional electrical usage, the initiators explain
"The facility, engineered as a kit, can be placed anywhere geographically, and permits the cultivation of a wide range of fruits, herbs and vegetables," Bruce shows. "Product cultivation occurs through a proprietary closed loop aquaponics water flow system that uses fish waste to provide nutrients (food) to the growing fruits, herbs, and vegetables." Processing, packaging and distribution operations are also housed within the facility, streamlining operations while increasing food safety.
At the completion of construction / start of operations, $87M in assets will be in place with an annual revenue of $51M.
"Rosemount, a suburb of St Paul, provides a large population area for end-user, farm to plate product distribution that minimizes transportation costs and would be completely oil free", says Bruce, but it's not the end point he believes. "It is expected that this concept will be replicated throughout the United States, Canada and Europe," the initiators conclude.
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