For indoor cannabis growers, going from a home grow to a full-scale setup can be daunting. But Vermont cannabis entrepreneurs don’t have to handle the technicalities alone, because Defiance Electric is eager to help.
“Whether it’s mechanical, whether it’s lighting or any other system, there are so many things involved. And that’s what really excites us, because to me, it feels like an industry that I can be so helpful to,” said owner Travis Boucher. “And the number of people who really understand electric power and electricity, it’s smaller than you might think.”
Since 1978, the New Hampshire company has helped commercial customers implement cutting-edge technology, from precision environmental control for data centers to LED lighting systems. In 2021, when Boucher took the helm so his father could retire, the company began offering Electrical Engineering for Vermont Cannabis Businesses.
During this process, Boucher calculates the facility’s expected electrical load to report to the power company and helps growers accurately estimate their annual electricity costs.
After learning about a grower’s needs, Defiance Electric visits the site to assess the existing infrastructure. The company then develops a custom engineering plan for the installation of lighting and other systems, such as temperature control and ventilation. During this process, Boucher calculates the facility’s expected electrical load to report to the power company and helps growers accurately estimate their annual electricity costs.
Boucher said clients typically struggle to find contractors to work with cannabis businesses that don’t have detailed specifications ready for their projects. Defiance Electric provides this in-depth planning and works with Vermont electricians who receive fair union wages.
The company strives to be an industry resource, advising growers on everything from what equipment to use to how best to set it up.
“Whatever you land, let’s land on it, and we’ll help you take the equipment you want to put in your greenhouse and make it successful, make it work,” said Sales Manager Peter Dionne.
To maximize efficiency, the company recommends tracking data on factors like light duration, fan placement, and amount of nutrients used.
Another challenge growers face is the cost of powering grow facilities. Efficiency Vermont budgeted $1 million incentives for more efficient lighting and air conditioning systems. But Boucher believes the best way to cut costs and conserve energy is to use alternative energy sources, like solar power.
“If the weather is nice all day, the lights and mechanical heat pumps could run on solar power. So that eliminates almost 50% of the day if you have 12 hours of daylight,” Boucher said. “If you include battery storage with that, then you have a legitimate compensation system.”
To maximize efficiency, the company recommends tracking data on factors like light duration, fan placement, and amount of nutrients used. This allows growers to calculate their yield per watt and identify potential adjustments.
Boucher said cannabis businesses should also plan for backup power, as plants are at risk of damage during unexpected outages.
“Then you have these hinge points of the different areas and gear in your culture, where you can start tweaking,” Dionne said. “Maybe one or two tweaks could save you a lot of money and electricity.”
Boucher said cannabis businesses should also plan for backup power, as plants are at risk of damage during unexpected outages. Investing in a backup solar generator or system ensures crop security in the event of a grid failure.
With the legal market still developing, cannabis growers should have questions. Defiance Electric has the knowledge and experience to find the answers.
“Anything electrical related, please contact us,” Boucher said. “We can see it through.”
Visit Defiance Electric to learn more. Thank you to our business partners for supporting this sponsored post!