Every so often, a technology comes along that truly revolutionizes an industry... Innovations like Uber and Airbnb that change the way things are done. Since the cannabis industry is so young, there are many innovations, yet few that have a profound impact on the status quo. Scale Energy Solutions provides technology that changes the game.
Scale Energy Solutions provides alternative energy systems to indoor cannabis cultivators. Their systems are large and complex and not suitable for small scale growers. However, as the industry moves more and more toward consolidation, and large indoor farms keep sprouting up across the nation, and as cannabis grower's energy consumption continues to explode to almost unimaginable levels, the need for lowering the needle is apparent.
The fact is, cannabis growers are already using an estimated 1% of the total energy in all of the United States. In Colorado, the biggest utility ran into some struggles with the load growth. And outages have occurred around Denver and Portland due to cannabis grower's energy appetite.
A study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory revealed that legal indoor marijuana-growing operations are highly energy intensive. In California, the top-producing state, indoor cultivation uses about 3% of all electricity use. A single cannabis cigarette represents 1.5 kg (3 pounds) of CO2 emissions, an amount equal to driving a fuel efficient hybrid car 22 miles, or keeping a 100-watt light bulb on 24-hours a day.
This energy use can account for as much as 50% of a grower’s total overhead, and is detrimental to the environment – taking the “green” out of the growing marijuana industry.
Scale Energy Solutions develops hybrid microgrids, combining solar, storage and combined heat and power (CHP), to lower the energy consumption of indoor cannabis cultivation. Not only does this make a much more environmentally friendly operation, but it also reduces costs for the grower.
Energy is one of the largest costs for growers, and implementing a microgrid from Scale Energy would likely reduce those costs by as much as 20 - 25%.
The company was founded by Tim Hade, a former United States Air Force Officer; Ryan Goodman, who has an MBA from Harvard; and Howard Goodman, a graduate with an MBA from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. These are some smart fellas.
They apply this brain trust to coming up with new and novel ways to reduce energy use, increase implementation of renewable energy sources, and offer long-term solutions to companies looking to improve their operations.
“The cannabis industry is now using six times more energy than the pharmaceutical industry, and this paradigm is not sustainable,” Timothy Hade, Co-Founder of Scale Energy Solutions said in a statement. “Our new approach to energy reduction not only slashes costs for growers, but also improves the industry’s total environmental footprint, which in the long run will increase its chance of acceptance at a national level.”
Congratulations to Scale Energy Solutions as the 2016 Cannabis Technology of the Year.