Strategic Efficiencies Developed for Cannabis, Hemp Greenhouse Cultivation
Phylos, a modern crop science company developing advanced cannabis and hemp genetics, and its dedicated research and cultivation partner, Progressive Plant Research (PPR), are projecting a reduction of total energy use by 36% due to the significant improvements and automations made to the facility since the conversion to a cannabis and hemp greenhouse cultivation operation.
This achievement results from a thorough and intentional drive to improve sustainability in ways that can be adopted across the industry. As part of Phylos’ and PPR’s commitment, they have partnered with the Energy Trust of Oregon’s Strategic Energy Management Program (ETO).
“In a state leading and setting standards for the cannabis industry, we have a responsibility to improve the sustainability of our industry,” said Ralph Risch, CEO of Phylos. “Not only are we focused on seed genetics that improve cultivation efficiency, but we are also committed to sharing best practices for sustainable industry practices.”
The reported reduction of 742,575 kWh — equivalent to 114 passenger vehicles driven for one year and 1,160,182 pounds of CO2 emissions — is expected to reach an annual energy savings of 910,505 kWh/year as a result of implementing long-term agricultural sustainability practices. The company has also been accepted and will participate in Portland General Electric’s Energy Partner Program (PGE) beginning Q4 2021.
“In our continued work with Energy Trust of Oregon, Portland General Electric and CLEAResult we hope to be a future leader for energy efficiency in the Oregon cannabis industry,” said Shawn Cogan, PPR facilities director. “Our success story could pave the way for other cannabis companies in Oregon, whether indoor or greenhouse, to participate in these programs that support the reduction of energy use for a more sustainable future.”
PPR focuses on working with Phylos plant scientists to identify the precise climates needed to maximize cannabis plant health and analyzing environmental climate control data to identify sources of energy use that do not contribute directly to plant growth. Additionally, PPR works with teams across their greenhouses to adjust processes, tune environmental control systems, and adjust infrastructure to optimize efficiency.
Cannabis cultivation operations, especially indoor grow operations, require a large amount of electricity to power their climate control and lighting systems. According to New Frontier Data’s 2018 Cannabis Energy Report, indoor grow facilities can require up to 55 percent more energy than greenhouse and mixed light facilities. By participating in programs offered by ETO and PGE, Phylos and PPR are leading the way to improved sustainability by decreasing the toll that cannabis takes on energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions. To learn more about how Phylos and PPR achieved these goals, download the fact sheet.