California City is looking to attract energy-intensive cannabis growing operations and other businesses, but it is short on power, said Mayor Jeanie O’Laughlin. The city is in talks with Southern California Edison (SCE) about potential solutions.
SCE, for its part, is also seeking solutions.
“We are working collaboratively with community stakeholders and city leaders to develop short-, medium- and long-term solutions to meet the electrical needs of California City,” said David Song, a public information officer for SCE.
Meanwhile, Nye County, Nevada, has attracted cannabis growing facilities, but the local utility, Valley Electric Association, is also short on power, said Kevin Wright, a consultant in the cannabis industry.
To solve such challenges in Nevada, California and elsewhere, microgrid provider Instant On has proposed a “microgrid gap” solution that provides microgrids — mostly made up of natural gas generators, fuel cells and energy storage — that can be built in as little as 30 days and used until permanent or renewable microgrids can be built, said A. J. Perkins, president of Instant On. He and Wright also created a new company, Disruptive Power Solutions, to service the Nevada cannabis facilities.
The plan in California City is to add renewable microgrids, said Perkins. In Nevada, the plan is to bring in a natural gas line, said Wright.
Power users generally have to wait 12 to 24 months for a traditional microgrid — often renewable — to be permitted, installed and brought online at their property, said Perkins.
Cannabis growers sign on to microgrid gap solution
In one of the first applications of its