Cannabis Industry: Microgrids a “Game Changer” for Multi-billion Dollar Market

cannabis industry microgrid

Cannabis industry microgrids bring environmental responsibility, huge savings, to energy-intensive growing market.

Last month, we reported on Scale Energy Solutions‘  entry into the indoor cannabis cultivation market in Colorado. The microgrid firm helps reduce the considerable energy costs associated with growing pot under lights, a significant market in a state boasting a $1 billion per year marijuana industry. On March 7, CannaNews, a leading industry trade publication, awarded Scale Energy its “Cannabis Technology of the Year” honors, calling the company’s microgrid products a “game-changer” and a technology that can truly revolutionize the industry. Scale Energy provides large, complex microgrid systems for large-scale cannabis cultivation.

According to the publication, as the industry moves toward large-scale production, “growers’ energy consumption continues to explode to almost unimaginable levels.” The announcement explains that indoor cultivation already uses a whopping 1% of the U.S.’s total energy expenditure and that utilities in states where pot growing is now legal have run into struggles with the load and reported cannabis-related power outages. Scale solutions adds that the cannabis industry is currently responsible for about 0.5% of total US greenhouse gas emissions.  A single cannabis cigarette represents 1.5 kg (3 pounds) of CO2 emissions, an amount comparable to 24 hours using 100-watt light bulb. 

Using fossil fuels to power cannabis cultivation is detrimental to the environment, takes “green” out of industry

Energy is one of  growers’ largest costs, accounting for as much as 50% of total overhead. However, implementing a microgrid can reduce those costs by as much as 25%. Scale Energy’s microgrids combine solar, storage, and combined heat and power (CHP). The systems make for a much more environmentally friendly operation while dramatically reducing costs, hence the revolutionary role they will play in this growing industry.

“We look forward to working with more indoor growers and system architects,” says Tim Hade, co-founder and COO of Scale Energy, “to help them reduce their costs and improve their environmental footprint with more reliable, on-site sources of cost-efficient energy.”

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