Microgrid to Offset Harborside’s Energy Consumption
Harborside Inc., a California-focused, vertically integrated cannabis enterprise, today announced plans to install an onsite renewable energy microgrid that is expected to include 4.9 MW of solar panels and 6 MWh of battery storage tied to advanced system and load management controls at the company’s 47-acre production campus located in Salinas, California.
Upon its planned completion in the second half of 2022, the cutting-edge microgrid energy system is expected to produce approximately 8,600,000 kWh of electricity each year, which is enough clean renewable energy to offset up to 100% of Harborside’s current power consumption at the Salinas production campus. According to figures provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas equivalencies calculator, the project will negate approximately 6,095 tons of atmospheric CO2 emissions annually, which is the same carbon offset as approximately 11.7 square miles (7,467 acres) of forest and is equivalent to avoiding more than 15.3 million miles of passenger car driving each year.
When complete, the project is expected to cover approximately 10 acres of the production campus. The battery storage system, in addition to reducing peak load demands, will pair with other on-site energy assets to provide multiple days of backup power, allowing Harborside to continue operations as normal and protect valuable inventory in the event of a disruption to the utility-supplied power.
The project will be fully funded and installed by Scale Microgrid Solutions, a vertically integrated distributed energy company. Harborside intends to enter into a power purchase agreement with Scale Microgrid in the first half of 2022. Once the project is fully functional, the transactions contemplated by the power purchase agreement are expected to immediately result in lower operating costs, with an estimated cumulative net energy savings of more than $12.5 million over a 20 year period. It is also expected that the project will allow Harborside to avoid purchasing carbon offset credits, which would otherwise be required by California regulations beginning on Jan. 1, 2023.
“The team at Harborside is extremely proud to launch an industry-leading renewables project and to be able to completely power our [Salinas] production campus from the sun,” said Tom DiGiovanni, chief financial officer of Harborside. “When it becomes fully functional next year, it is expected to be the largest renewable energy project in the entire US cannabis industry, and will be a great example of how the industry can become more sustainable, more efficient and more profitable.
“The cultivation of premium cannabis requires a large amount of energy, which means we incur both a financial cost to the Company and, more importantly, a cost to our environment. As a leader in the California cannabis market, we are excited to work with Scale Microgrid to create highly sustainable infrastructure that is built for the future and allows us to cultivate in the most clean and energy efficient way possible,” said DiGiovanni. “When grown in either a greenhouse or an indoor environment, cannabis uses minimal water, but takes quite a bit of power to grow successfully. Upon completion of the Project, we expect to exceed the year 2030 renewable targets laid out by the California Governor’s office and we expect to be one step closer to net-zero emissions. The Project is also expected to give Harborside a robust alternative to utility supplied power, which is essential in California as the traditional power grid is more and more frequently disrupted by over usage, wildfires and extreme weather events”.