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Cannabis growers target cost reductions

An on-site solar system is helping an Arizona, US marijuana grower reduce its energy costs.

The 145-kW photovoltaic system, installed by renewable energy company Global Solaris Group, is expected to save the customer over 30% in energy use per year.

According to research from the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, energy production costs for the growing US and Canadian ‘cannabusiness’ amount to US$6 billion/year, six times the pharmaceutical industry’s energy spend. Marijuana growth represents 1% of US electricity use and 3% of California’s, and uses eight times more energy per square foot than an average US commercial facility.

Since much of the growing space tends to be indoors, especially in Canada where a new government programme restricts marijuana growth to indoor facilities, energy use for lighting and air conditioning has the largest impact on operating costs for growers and processors. A typical grower can spend up to $20,000/month on energy costs, Global Solaris Group said.à‚ 

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