ENGS 89/90 Reports

Degree Program

B.E.

Year of Graduation

2022

Project Advisor

Stephen Doig

Instructor

Solomon Diamond

Document Type

Report

Publication Date

2022

Abstract

As the legalization of cannabis continues to spread across the US, the electrical energy demand (kWh) from indoor cannabis cultivation is increasing at an alarming rate. Cannabis cultivators, such as MariMed, have rushed to retrofit facilities, quickly acquiring crucial grow room equipment, and harvesting products to meet product demand. Recently, new Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) type regulations by state cannabis regulators have aimed to address indoor cultivation practices and their electricity loads on local electric grids. Additionally, efficient equipment and expensive utility bills have motivated cultivators to lower their electrical energy consumption. Our project goal is to increase the electrical energy efficiency of cannabis operator MariMed’s indoor cultivation facility located in New Bedford, MA. The facility utilizes multiple ventilation and dehumidification units in each room, a high lighting power density, and a multi-zoned packaged Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) system. System analysis based on submeter data, site visits, and interviews revealed opportunities to reduce the electrical energy consumption of MariMed's facility. These opportunities include adoption of efficient lighting fixtures and centralized HVAC systems, as well as reducing the need of auxiliary equipment. Partnering up with Sustainable Cannabis Coalition, we have worked with experts in energy modeling, horticulturists, and building design teams to provide a design plan that MariMed can implement in their expanding facility, which could result in 50% less electricity use when compared to the overall electrical energy consumption of their current New Bedford facility.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Dartmouth Community Only Access

Available for download on Monday, March 24, 2025

Restricted

Available to Dartmouth community via local IP address.

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