Located in Somerset, Massachusetts, Solar Cannabis Company's (formerly known as Solar Therapeutics) indoor farm spans over 67,000 square feet and is the only energy-independent cannabis cultivation and dispensary facility in the United States. Achieving such a designation requires an all-of-the-above strategic approach to energy reduction—and no better place to start than with the largest energy-consuming systems—lighting and HVAC.
Efficiency starts with design
urban-gro began working with Solar Cannabis Co. during the facility's design phase. By working with urban-gro's professional design services team and engaging with strategic partners like Fluence for LED lighting and Argus for fertigation management, the facility was able to meet Massachusetts' strict energy per square foot requirements and implement water reduction strategies and wastewater management.
Through a highly collaborative design process, Solar Cannabis Co. and urban-gro achieved peak operational efficiency through:
- Sustainable irrigation
- Optimized fertigation and watering
- High-efficiency LED lighting
As a result, Solar was able to reduce its overall energy consumption by 40%. Combined with the company's on-site solar grid, the remaining emissions were offset by nearly 60%.
CEO Edward Dow commented on the results of the collaborative approach to sustainability, "The lack of unified sustainability practices and standards within the cannabis industry has created pain points that we all need to seriously consider. By leveraging today's LED technology, we were able to downsize our HVAC systems and invest the resulting savings in technologies that will allow us to achieve our long-term sustainability and facility design goals."
The decision to use a Fluence LED lighting system paired with other measures allowed Solar Cannabis Co. to earn more than $1 Million in utility rebates from the National Grid, a record rebate amount awarded to a cannabis company. Furthermore, the LED strategy reduced the building heat load, which allowed the team to apply the utility rebates toward a more efficient and right-sized HVAC system.
"urban-gro is proud to support Solar Cannabis Co. in its vision and commitment to resource efficiency," said Bradley Nattrass, CEO, and Chairman of urban-gro. "Solar's success in managing energy costs and consumption is a testament to the advantage that expert design, engineering, and equipment integration can have on facility operations. By focusing on the efficient interaction between plants, people, and products, Solar is effectively able to operate a consistently, high-performing cultivation facility."
For more information:
Solar Cannabis Company