US developer completes first phase of 3.6 MW cannabis grower’s solar farm


From pv magazine USA

ESA Solar has announced the completion of the first 1.2 MW phase of a 3.6 MW ground-mounted solar project for an indoor cannabis grower in central Florida.  The three-phase solar farm project is part of ESA’s ongoing expansion efforts to provide pathways to decarbonization for companies and communities in new markets and regions, including recreational cannabis.

The solar farm uses Q Cells Q-Peak Duo XL bifacial double glass solar modules mounted on Terrasmart Glide racking hardware – a design built to provide maximum efficiency and stability, an ESA Solar spokesman told pv magazine USA. The array’s panels are strung together using 62.5 kW Sunny TriPower Core 1 inverters from SMA Solar, he added.

A 2022 report from the UN Office of Drugs and Crime (UNODC) estimated that climate control measures represent more than 80% of the carbon footprint of indoor cannabis production. On-site solar systems can reduce costs for growing operations, as electricity can add up to 30% to 50% of the cost of cannabis production.

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Cannabis production represents more than 1% of US electricity demand, said the National Conference of State Legislatures. This presents a large opportunity for renewable energy adoption.

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