What started as one Calgary company’s effort to extract a renewable energy source has now turned into a combined food security venture with its eyes looking stories high.
Development on the Latitude 53 project began a few years ago as a new geothermal energy extraction operation coming to Hinton. It is now preparing to combine that into a vertical farm, and the Alberta Energy Regulator gave Novus Earth Energy Operations the go-ahead for its exploratory drilling phase to begin.
Jeff Messner, president and co-founder of Novus, said that it’s all about deriving the greatest benefit for the company and for the public at large. It’s all because of what lies underneath the town. “We were looking at it as just for the geothermal possibility, but then when we were looking at the economics, we know that Hinton is a geothermal anomaly. We think it’s probably one of the hottest temperatures in Alberta,” he said.
Co-founder and partner Ralph Salm previously had a business idea for a vertical farm in Red Deer. The financial projections for that didn’t look so rosy either once the costs of heat and electricity were added into that business plan.
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