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Taranaki’s medicinal cannabis industry benefits from locally generated electricity.

Greenfern Industries, a medicinal cannabis company located in South Taranaki, has started producing its own electricity to power its indoor growing plant.

According to managing director Dan Casey, the company’s hydroelectric power station on the Waingongoro River in Taranaki received permission from the Taranaki Regional Council last week to resume generating power after an extensive upgrade.
He said in a statement that generating its own energy saved the company money and made it more competitive.

“More than 60 per cent of our operational expense can be attributed to electricity so being able to scale to meet demand is a significant advantage.

“While we’re excited about being able to produce high quality medicinal cannabis products at a more competitive price point, we’re also incredibly proud of being able to grow our medicinal plants in a more environmentally-friendly way.”

Following a fruitful crowdfunding campaign, Greenfern purchased the power station in December of last year.
The weir-dam and power station were built in 1903 and were originally intended to provide power to the nearby towns of Hwera, Manaia, and Eltham. Since its inception, it has been restored twice.
The power station was not cooperative until Greenfern took over. It passed the final inspection of objects that had previously been in violation of resource consent terms held by the station’s previous owner last week.

“We’ve invested heavily in upgrading and modifying power station infrastructure and the technology that monitors the water intake and output,” Casey said.

He stated that the company would not use all of the power generated by the station and will sell the excess to the national grid.

“It’s looking like it will be a dry winter in the South Island with record power demand, and with spot prices at record levels at the moment, this is another revenue stream for Greenfern.”

The company was also considering upgrading the power plant’s generation capacity, which would result in higher power output from a larger and more powerful turbine.

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