Boulder, CO (PRWEB) September 30, 2015 -- E Source has been evaluating energy-efficiency technologies and studying trends in the electric efficiency industry for more than 25 years. During that period, utilities have experienced few events as disruptive as the legalization of marijuana cultivation. In Washington State, for example, analysts predict a cannabis-driven load growth of 80 to 160 average megawatts of power over the next 20 years—equivalent to the electricity needs of a small city.
A new E Source report, “Harvesting Energy Savings in Cannabis Cultivation Facilities: Quick Wins for Cultivators and Utilities,” outlines the quickest, most cost-effective measures for improving the energy efficiency of indoor growing facilities, which are often built with the haste of a modern-day gold rush. In their hurry to become operational, many facility operators overlook energy considerations.
According to E Source research, one of the easiest ways for a facility operator to reduce energy costs is to change the facility’s lighting schedule. Utilities charge commercial customers for energy consumption (the total amount of energy consumed during the billing cycle) as well as demand (the highest consecutive 15-minute power draw during the billing period). The demand charges levied against a cultivator can amount to as much as 60 percent of the facility’s overall utility bill. When the grow lights are on, the air conditioners must also be on to cool the space, bumping the power draw of the facility to its highest levels. By consciously scheduling lights-on/lights-off periods to avoid running all the lights and air conditioners at the same time, operators can reduce their overall demand charges.
Another easy and potentially free measure is to ensure that the grow lights are concentrated on the plants and not illuminating the floor or walls. For example, plants can be moved together, eliminating gaps between the leaves and forming a solid canopy. In addition, damaged reflectors can be repaired and lamp heights adjusted to ensure good light distribution without burning the leaves of the plants. And continually measuring the light that reaches the canopy can alert operators to areas of uneven light distribution that aren’t visible to the naked eye.
More energy-saving strategies are described in the report excerpt Quick Wins for Growing Energy Savings in Cannabis Cultivation Facilities and information about some of the technologies mentioned in the report can be found in the E Source blog post Top 5 Technologies and Trends of 2014 and in the E News article What 2014’s Technology Trends Mean for 2015.
About E Source
For 26 years, E Source has been providing research, consulting, and market research to more than 300 utilities and their partners. This guidance helps our customers advance their efficiency programs, enhance customer relationships, and use energy more efficiently.
Kym Wootton, E Source, http://www.esource.com, +1 303-345-9168, [email protected]