A solar-powered indoor cooling system developed by Arizona-based SunTrac is another innovation that can help cannabis growers save money on electricity. SunTrac panels can cut the electricity needs of a rooftop air conditioner by 30 to 40 percent, which is significant since half the electricity used by indoor facilities is spent on climate modification (heating, cooling, ventilation and dehumidification).
Another way indoor growing facilities can integrate solar energy systems is to install them as a source of backup power.
“If you lose power for a day, you could lose $1 million,” Campbell estimates in reference to the largest grow facilities. “Backup power is worth a true amount of dollars in the cannabis industry.”
Combined with battery banks for storage when the sun is not shining, a solar backup system would be cleaner, more reliable and ultimately less expensive than diesel generators.
The possibilities of combining solar technology with cannabis growing are only beginning to be explored. As the research and development advances, the potential for money- and energy-saving applications is likely to expand dramatically.