Real Estate fund investing in $3.5M Combined Heat and Power installation at Maine cannabis greenhouse

March 22, 2022
Power REIT is committing approximately $3.5 million to install an on-site power generation and cooling system at its existing greenhouse cultivation property in York County, Maine

Power REIT is committing approximately $3.5 million to install an on-site power generation and cooling system at its existing greenhouse cultivation property in York County, Maine.

The approximately 48,000 square-foot facility is leased to Sweet Dirt, a cannabis company in Maine. The Combined Heat and Power System will enable Sweet Dirt to generate its own electricity and recover the heat produced by this system as a usable energy source.

The system will help Sweet Dirt offset the use of other equipment for heating the facility. For this system, the energy input will be clean-burning natural gas, which will be used to run an engine.

The project includes an absorption chiller, which can provide cooling from the heat produced by the CHP system. A cogeneration system that includes an absorption chiller is referred to as tri-generation as it creates three outputs from a single energy input.

Such an onsite generation CHP system can operate at a fuel conversion efficiency of about 85% rather than the typical electrical efficiency of 40%, according to estimates.

Power REIT Chairman and CEO David Lesser said, “These improvements to this greenhouse cultivation facility will allow Sweet Dirt to take their operations to the next level in an energy efficient manner. Power REIT has a significant focus on sustainability and cogeneration is a way to lower the overall carbon footprint of the greenhouse while also lowering its cost of operations and enhancing production yields.”

Sweet Dirt CEO Jim Henry expects the project to accelerate the company’s growth in an environmentally friendly and cost-effective manner.