Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cannabis is Presenting Huge Challenges for the Utility Industry


Las Vegas, NV (August 25, 2015) -- To address these challenges cannabis is presenting for utilities, Signal Bay, Inc. (NASDAQ: SGBY) and Conferences Connect LLC have created two unique events for utility professionals. First a webinar, “The Cannabis Industry: its impact on the Power Grid,” September 3rd, 2015. The second, “Powering Indoor Agriculture for Utilities: Preparing for Your Newly Regulated Large Load Customer” conference scheduled October 21st & 22nd, 2015 in Las Vegas at the Rio All-Suites Hotel. Speakers include representatives from leading utilities currently dealing with the issues they face with indoor cannabis producers.

“Powering indoor cannabis is challenging utilities in unique ways. Though seemingly straightforward as a business that needs power, utilities see the need for further risk assessment, potential capital investments in substations, different processes in establishing credit, managing payments, etc., make this a unique set of questions that a conference can help answer. By bringing energy utility professionals together to learn from each other, utilities are positioned better to answer the needs of this sector, enjoy a bump in commercial revenue while protecting investment risk.“, said Ashley Baptiste, CEO of Conferences Connect.

Indoor cannabis cultivation facilities use an unusually large amount of energy. Lori Glauser, President of Signal Bay, explains that nearly 2% of Denver’s electricity goes to powering cannabis grow facilities, and by some estimates, as much as 3% of California’s energy goes to indoor agriculture. “A staggering amount of electricity is consumed in the cultivation of cannabis. The industrialization of cannabis is currently the primary driver behind load growth in many areas, meanwhile, the business risks of serving these customers are high. These facilities are still considered illegal by the federal government while regulations and especially grow technology are evolving quickly.

The outlook for cannabis production in 5, 10 or 20 years will look very different from today. Further, it is not just cannabis that is being grown indoors. Massive vertical indoor gardens are on the horizon that will provide an efficient solution, offering access to fresh local produce year-round – an especially important concern in urban areas and cities affected by drought.

The two-day event includes a workshop on the current and future energy demands of the cannabis industry, followed by presentations  from utilities and indoor agriculture specialists addressing efficiency rebates, lighting, climate control and new technologies. Topics ranging from understanding the load profile of this customer segment, interconnection costs, offering distinct rates, and mitigating risk.  Examples will be presented on municipality’s cannabis rates and tax surcharges, and a focus on the massive infrastructure effort ongoing to bring power to up to 17 cultivation facilities in one North Las Vegas industrial park. The conference features a tour of a cannabis cultivation facility for utility representatives to learn first-hand the energy needs of such structures.

For More Information www.UtilityEvents.com

Media Contact
Gus Calabrese
CMO – Conference Connect

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