North Country Growers (NCG) presents a Qualified Opportunity Zone Fund that was created to own and operate a 20-acre greenhouse facility on a 169-acre parcel in Berlin, NH. The greenhouse will grow tomatoes and salad greens that will be sold as far south as Washington DC. Using innovative yet proven technology, NCG is expected to be the most efficient produce producer in the Northeast.
NCG uses Combined Heat & Power (CHP) technology which runs off natural gas and captures the waste heat as an energy source. CHP has been used extensively in Continental Europe. Heat from the power plants saves ~11,700 MMBtu per acre each year in heating (~3,000 barrels of oil). In addition, the contained environment reuses the CO2 production to boost yields by 30%. This production method, coupled with an ideal Zone 3 climate location, will reduce energy costs by 50% compared to other greenhouse methods. NCG’s cost per delivered pound of salad greens is dramatically less than for other indoor greenhouses.
The Fund has a strong management team led by Dr. Richard Rosen who has over 30 years’ environmental and agriculture experience and was also a leader behind the passing of the Clean Water Act amongst other notable career achievements. Marguerite Piret is the day-to-day business manager of the fund, and she has extensive experience in finance across a vast array of industries.
This OZ project is the benchmark for ESG and Community Development Investing. To start, it is located within a designated Opportunity Zone and will initially create 83 good paying jobs in an economically hard-hit community. NCG will also significantly reduce carbon emissions from transportation. Currently, 95% of salad greens and tomatoes are trucked from across the country, Mexico and Canada into the Northeast. Due to its location and short transportation routes along the northeast corridor, NCG expects that its produce can be on store shelves within twelve hours of harvesting. Pesticides are not needed, and the water used within the greenhouse is recycled.
Given the efficient process and strong demand for locally sourced produce (LOI’s and understandings for all production), the NCG OZ Fund is expected to produce an IRR of 26.8% with a MOIC of 4.76x. The greenhouse will be profitable in Year 2 and will benefit from significant bonus depreciation.
This OZ project has been years in the making and is finally permitted and ready to move forward with the full support of state and local officials.
North Country OZ Fund II