By Rich Plainfield WIPP
OREGON: On May 3rd, 2016, the City of Hillsboro City Council approved land use rules and regulations allowing for licensed recreational marijuana establishments to operate within the City limits. The ruling sets in motion the development of a major $20 million energy efficient marijuana grow facility.
The planned 130,000 sq ft indoor marijuana grow facility will be a community of growers, processors, wholesalers, research facilities and testing labs. The vision of this project is to address a number of critical concerns pertaining to the emerging marijuana industry. It is hoped that this facility will be a demonstration project of how the cannabis industry can use power responsibly by dramatically reducing power consumption.
The explosive growth of the newly-legal cannabis industry is having a huge impact on the power grid as well, sparking environmental and energy-consumption concerns. There is already ample evidence of a huge energy impact on the infrastructure of Colorado and Washington states. Oregon has an opportunity to learn from those states and set a new standards of environmental and energy best practices.
The plan is to develop a marijuana grow facility that will embrace the best of technology, to achieve optimum energy savings and best practices. This will help growers to be even more successful and competitive long term. Now that this industry has come out of the shadows, it is time to treat it like any other industrial endeavor, by reducing overhead and maximizing efficiencies.
To achieve these goals, there is a team of energy experts, engineers, state agencies, and people that are passionate about meeting these objectives. There is a commitment to make sure that this development will become a demonstration project on how the recreational Marijuana industry should operate going forward in the State of Oregon as well as an example for the rest of the nation.
Because of the size of the facility, it allows for the development of centralized services to maximize energy savings. The building has a 4 acre roof which provides the opportunity to install up to a 2 megawatt solar array, thus reducing the carbon footprint even more.