Australia-based Aurora Algae announced its plan last week to build its first commercial algae farm, a decision that’s been under review since 2013.
Among the many factors the company considered were:
- Location – Aurora Algae’s algae grows best in salt water, in warm climates without too much rainfall. South Texas is a great fit for these requirements. NREL’s Simulated Algal Growth Environment reactor identified this region as a lucrative place to grow algae.
- Labor Cost – South Texas already has a very skilled local labor force at a cost 30% lower than in Australia.
- Existing Infrastructure – Aurora Algae is transforming an old 2,000 acre shrimp farm already equipped with infrastructure for 1,800 acres of ponds and movement of water. Texas A&M has emerged as a hotbed for algae research, which could be a valuable resource as well.
The initiation of an algae development rush in the heart of oil country has begun. The Texas wind industry is already booming – let’s add another win for renewables!
Read Biofuels Digest’s interview with Aurora Algae’s CEO Greg Bafalis and corporate affairs chief Paul Brunato here.