Australis Capital Inc. announced today that ALPS – a company in the process of being acquired by AUSA – through its wholly owned subsidiary Larssen Greenhouse Consulting (“LGC”) has entered into an agreement with Bluehouse Greenhouse (“BHGH”) for the development of a 62 acre, high-tech, fully integrated greenhouse for the sustainable production of vegetables in California.
Sustainable facility design
ALPS, through its wholly-owned subsidiary Larssen Greenhouse Consulting (“LGC”), was tasked to develop solutions for BHGH to operate a large-scale facility with a fully controlled environment and a sustainable eco-system. The new facility is designed to achieve significant savings on water, labor, energy and land use. Located in a relatively arid region, the BHGH facility will enable the cultivation of produce year-round, without volatility in quality, price, taste or look. One of the concepts behind the facility is ‘By locals for locals’, with a substantial percentage of output designated for local markets which to date have been served by out of state or regional producers. BHGH’s proximity to its primary markets significantly reduces the carbon footprint related to the transport of produce.
BHGH and LGC have also partnered with experts in sustainable energy technologies and as such, will be generating its own power through the establishment of a 15 MW Co-Generation plant. The CoGen plant will generate energy sustainably for the BHGH facility, while excess power will be delivered to the Local Community Choice Aggregate. Waste streams from the plant will also be utilized for cooling of the greenhouse, as well as for the supply of CO2 for the plants. Extensive automation and computer control systems will be utilized throughout the facility, deploying advanced systems for the accurate monitoring and control of environmental parameters, such as CO2, light, air flow, humidity, pH, etc.
Dr. Duke Fu, Interim CEO of AUSA stated, “with this sizeable $1.9 million project, ALPS continues to capitalize on opportunities and grow revenues at a rapid pace. Conversion of ALPS’s substantial business development pipeline in both the cannabis and traditional horticulture sectors will provide AUSA, once the acquisition is completed, with cash flow to further fuel the execution of its capital-light expansion strategy.”
Thomas Larssen, President of ALPS, stated, “The BHGH project is significant for ALPS both in terms of contract size and complexity, validating ALPS’ design and development of facilities. We are honoured and delighted to be working with the visionaries at BHGH on this important project in an area short of arable land and other resources to supply regional communities with locally, sustainably grown produce. This is a market dynamic we are seeing more and more, and the number of enquiries for facilities of this kind is increasing, supporting the further growth of our business development pipeline.”
Ari Kashani, CEO of BHGH, stated, “With an aging and shrinking pool of farmers, increasing wages and scarce and expensive natural resources, as well as increasingly stringent food-safety and traceability regulations, greenhouse grown produce has become a critical and essential component of the local food supply chain. ALPS has spearheaded many advances that will enable us to establish a sustainable and economically highly viable cultivation operation. We are very excited about this first BHGH facility in California, and intend to replicate our ‘by locals for locals’ approach in other regions as we expand our operations across the U.S.”
AUSA is in the process of acquiring ALPS. ALPS is the world’s premier design, construction management, commissioning and post commissioning consultancy company for horticultural crops, such as cannabis, fruits, vegetables, mushrooms and algae (see press release dated January 5, 2021), and includes APIS, its institutional level compliance solution for both small and large cultivation facilities. With ALPS, AUSA will also be obtaining the iconic west coast connoisseur cannabis brand, Mr. Natural.