NW Pot Grows Will Need Power To Light McMinnville For Year

WASHINGTON:  As more marijuana producers move their plants indoors over the next two decades, the grow operations in Washington state are expected to need as much electricity each year as what a small Northwest city consumes, according to an energy forecast by regional power planners.

Demands on the Northwest electrical grid would grow further if Oregon voters pass a ballot initiative in November to legalize recreational pot use, the Northwest Power and Conservation Council said.

The council, which develops a long-term power plan for Washington, Oregon, Idaho and parts of Montana, has been studying the impacts of electricity needs for operations that grow legal marijuana indoors in Washington state.

New energy demantor.d among growers of marijuana is estimated to expand to as much as 163 megawatts a year by 2035. That represents about 10 percent of what Seattle uses annually, or roughly what a small city such as McMinnville, Oregon, uses, said Tom Eckman, the council’s power planning director.