Tecogen has announced its first equipment sale to the US state of Florida’s recently legalized medical marijuana sector.

The firm said it will provide three STx series water-cooled chillers for a 3700 square metre indoor growing facility near the city of Tampa.

Tecogen’s natural gas-fired units will provide 450 refrigeration tonnes (RT) of cooling for the facility, which is currently being retrofitted.

According to Bill Martini, the firm’s vice-president of sales, because utility and infrastructure costs represent significant expenses for indoor farming, replacing electricity with natural gas and making use of waste heat can boost facilities’ energy efficiency and lower operation costs.

“The Tecochills’ cooling helps remove the heat generated by the thousands of lights that are needed to grow the crops, while the recovered waste heat can be utilized to dehumidify the air,” Martini added. “The CO2 contained in the ultra-clean exhaust stream can even be pumped into the facility, to aid in plant growth. Finally, use of efficient gas cooling helps grow facility developers reduce their facilities’ electrical requirements, avoiding capital costs and construction delays.”

Tecogen Co-CEO Benjamin Locke called the sale “powerful evidence of the dramatic value proposition that our equipment provides to indoor growers”.

“Farmers of high value crops such as cannabis lock up a lot of capital in each growing cycle. It’s not simply a matter of efficiency and operating cost savings that matters, but also reliability,” he said.  

Tecogen said the chillers represent its sixth equipment sale to a US cannabis-growing facility.