DENVER — Lightshade, one of Colorado’s largest vertically integrated, independently owned-and-operated cannabis businesses, is working with Resource InImage: Rnovations and Cascade Energy to execute the Xcel Energy Strategic Energy Management Program in order to identify better energy management practices at Lightshade’s five indoor and greenhouse cultivation facilities.
A first-of-its-kind effort in cannabis, the 18-month program will provide valuable insight on how cannabis cultivation facilities use energy and ways to improve energy use practices. This Xcel Energy program was developed to build better strategic energy management (SEM) practices within businesses, with an eye toward creating efficiencies as much as energy savings. The program serves multiple purposes by enabling companies to reduce their energy costs and/or increase their energy efficiency, which also reduces the need for additional generating capacity lowering the energy company’s overall costs.
“This is the first cannabis strategic energy management program in the world,” said Dan Banks, Director of Cultivation Strategy at Lightshade. “Once the program is completed, we will have a much better understanding of the ways we use energy across our facilities. We’ll uncover how we can use energy more efficiently and how to put that knowledge into practice. All of this will transfer into tangible monetary gains for Lightshade and energy reduction usage for the overall grid.”
As a critical part of the program, independent energy management consultants are provided to complete an energy audit of participating businesses. Resource Innovations serves as the consultants in the program.
“Although our focus is on production, energy and how these two factors are tied together, we strive to make the examination as holistic as possible, looking at waste, water, energy, carbon and a host of other factors,” said Jake Mitchell, a consultant with Resource Innovations who is managing the program for Lightshade. “Our biggest hope is that we leave the companies we work with a clear understanding of how to manage their energy usage both at a facility and production level. The largest goal of the SEM program is to build institutional knowledge of energy use at the managerial level to help them make good decisions moving forward.”
The SEM program provides clear benefits to participants, including:
• Providing a clear pathway to improving the ratio of productivity to operational expense
• Arriving at conclusions that enable energy-intensive businesses to significantly reduce consumption, reduce their carbon footprint, and increase their sustainability
• Enhancing partnerships between energy users and their providers
“The cannabis industry has unique concerns with respect to energy use and how it impacts production,” said Peter Sharp, CEM, Strategic Energy Management Coach of Cascade Energy, which oversees the Xcel Strategic Energy Management Program. “In a state with a growing cannabis sector like Colorado, it is essential that we understand how energy resources are being used. We applaud Lightshade for making this commitment to improving its energy use practices.”
About Resource Innovations:
Founded in 2016, Resource Innovations is a woman-owned and WBE-certified energy consulting firm dedicated to creating equal access to clean and sustainable resources through diverse partnerships. The company’s deep roots and broad expertise in resource efficiency, policy development, coalition and partnership building, and market-based technology support enable the delivery of highly successful energy programs, particularly for historically underserved communities and customer segments.