As the green rush continues to rage on, both in Massachusetts and beyond, every day seems to bring along a new historic moment for the Cannabis Industry. Wednesday, January 29, 2020 will be another one of those days in the state of Massachusetts when Solar Therapeutics flips the switch on their power grid, making them the first fully self-powered cultivation facility on the East Coast.
Armed with nearly 6 acres of solar panels and their own cogeneration plant, when Solar Therapeutics flips the switch as approximately 2pm today, it will officially make them the first cultivation facility that is non-reliant on the electrical utility grid. Registered as a power plant with the state, cogeneration is a highly efficient process that uses one fuel to generate two types of energy, electrical and thermal. MIT has been using cogeneration to produce its own energy since 1995. By capturing and using heat that would otherwise go to waste, cogeneration reduces the overall fuel consumption in the process, making it one of the cleaner and most cost-effective options available for energy production. "Our core mission is to design sustainability and be responsible developers within today's business climate", states CEO Edward Dow. "The cannabis industry is one of the quickest growing market segments. Given the nature of the incredible, and often overlooked, energy requirements of these facilities, it is imperative for operators to design efficiently in order to save our resources and be responsible corporate citizens".
CEO Edward Dow focuses on sustainability. Solar panels line approximately 60,000 sq ft of roof space and an additional 4 acres of land behind the facility.
The energy savings doesn't stop there. Solar Therapeutics is also taking full advantage of the most natural part of the facility, the plants. Plants naturally transpire most of their water vapor through the leaf and in most facilities, this humidity would be expelled into the atmosphere, or even worse distributed through the facility causing various issues. Solar Therapeutics is taking a different approach. Through their HVAC system, this vapor is condensed back into useable water, filtered and sent back to the plants. With such an efficient system place, it is projected the units will capture approximately 9,000 gallons/day of 10,000 gallons produced. "While the upfront cost and design may be the initial challenge, the long-term energy savings and recovery will pay dividends", states Dow.
Located in Somerset, MA, Solar Therapeutics is currently open for recreational sales and just received their final medical approval earlier this month to allow them to begin cultivation. Once the grid goes live, they anticipate their various unique strains based in high end California genetics to hit shelves around May of this year. Tours of the facility will also be available to the general public who may be interested in a behind the scenes peek of the 70,000 sq. ft. facility.