Pot power: How utilities and regulators are dealing with the budding marijuana industry

Pot power: How utilities and regulators are dealing with the budding marijuana industry

| November 13, 2015

Marijuana growing is becoming so mainstream — and is consuming so much energy — that electric utilities and their regulators from coast to coast are sitting up and taking notice.

Earlier this month, Utility Dive reported that Pacific Power experienced 7 localized outages due to demand overloads attributed to marijuana grow operations. And this week, a Seattle utility warned of a potential 3% load growth in coming months — just from marijuana operations. Earlier this year, we reported that 45% of Denver, Colorado’s load growth was coming from cannabis growing operations. Many utilities, due either to ideological aversion to the industry or fear of running afoul of the federal government, have taken a “don’t ask, don’t tell” approach to handling marijuana-related load growth.

Pot power: How utilities and regulators are dealing with the budding marijuana industry






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