Novus Earth Energy

This interview details Novus Earth, an indoor farming technology company based in Canada. The interview is with Jeff Messner, President & Co-Founder of Novus Earth.

Source: Novus Earth Energy

What is the origin story of Novus Earth?

Novus Earth started as a Covid-19 project. I was taking courses in Renewable Energy and Conservation and one of the projects was to create a business plan for a renewable company. Once the school project was completed, I continued with the business plan until it got to the point where it needed to be executed.

There were lots of conversations with oil and gas professionals (drilling engineers, well planners, service companies, etc) to check the validity of what we were offering and once the feasibility was positive we began to bring on people who could help. The original idea was to develop the geothermal to provide electricity and hot water to our vertical farm, but we quickly pivoted to just focus on the geothermal for other CEA operators instead.

Source: Novus Earth Energy

What are some of the biggest challenges facing Novus Earth in the future?

There is always regulatory uncertainty that affects projects like this. In Alberta, they recently passed geothermal legislation and the corresponding regulations to go with it, which provides a lot of stability to what we’re doing. The current political unrest with Carbon Credits, a part that greatly improves the economics of our system, adds to uncertainty in investment and development.

Source: Novus Earth Energy

What is unique about Novus Earth compared to competitors?

Conventional geothermal has been around for a long time, starting with Larderello, Italy which was completed in 1913 and still operating. The problem with conventional geothermal is that it requires very specific conditions to work. Novus Earth is an Advanced Geothermal System (AGS) developer; AGS allows for a location-agnostic system that can be places anywhere in the world. Some areas are more economical than others, but the system itself can be installed anywhere. On top of that, we have a proprietary well design that is more efficient at extracting energy from the ground than any other system.

Source: Novus Earth Energy

What is the current size of your growing area?

Our CEA partner, Freshbay Inc., is planning on an indoor space equal to ~20 acres in their first phase. The first phase will be all strawberries with following phases exploring other products.

Source: Novus Earth Energy

Do you use CO2 in your operation today -- if so, how much and what do you pay for it? What are your thoughts in CO2 usage in indoor farms?

The plan in this project is to add a natural gas co-gen power plant to the location. The combination of the co-gen and geothermal work in tandem to provide the electricity, heat and CO2 to the greenhouses, and all with better economics.

Source: Novus Earth Energy

Energy is a big topic in indoor farming right now. How much do you pay for electricity (kWh)? Is it mainly from the grid or renewables?

Because all of the power (thermal and electricity) will be created by Novus Earth and/or Freshbay, we’re able to control our energy costs. There is a much higher CAPEX that goes with this, obviously, but the pay off is in 4-5 years and is able to provide energy for 50+ years.

How can people connect with you or learn more about Novus Earth?

Our website is www.novusearth.ca and our email is info@novusearth.ca

Source: Novus Earth Energy

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