Controlled Environment Agriculture

Expanding insights to controlled environment horticultural markets

Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) is one of the fastest-growing sectors of the United States’ economy. From lettuces and microgreens to tomatoes, berries, and hemp, some producers grow crops indoors in response to market dynamics or as part of their preferred farming practice. Energy-driven systems (primarily lighting, HVAC, and dehumidification) control growing environments by maintaining the proper conditions for crops to thrive and produce.

A shared challenge faced by producers, their supply chain partners, governments, utilities, and researchers is the sparse guidance on efficient production of horticultural yields. There are only a few peer-reviewed best practices for CEA, limited numbers of government policies or codes informed by cultivators, and virtually no industry standards to guide decision-making.

We are here to provide tools and resources to help producers succeed.

Resource Innovation Institute was formed in early 2016 to address the energy impacts of cannabis cultivation. RII publishes peer-reviewed reports and best practices guidance on resource efficient cultivation and serves cultivators and supply chain partners with PowerScore, the first resource benchmarking platform designed for CEA facilities. Using data from PowerScore, RII was the first organization to publish actual energy performance data representative of a statistical sample of legal cannabis cultivation facilities in their Cannabis Energy Report, co-authored with New Frontier Data, a leading data & analytics reporting organization.

In February 2020, RII hosted and ACEEE sponsored the Indoor Agriculture Energy Solutions conference where producers of a range of crops grown in various controlled environments were brought together with leading governments, utilities and supply chain members to advance common objectives. In 2020, RII will be collaborating with New Frontier Data for water data analysis for their Cannabis Water Report.

With cannabis as a foundation of our controlled environment agriculture expertise, RII and its partners embark and establish innovative market transformation efforts to accelerate resource efficiency throughout controlled environment horticulture.

Key deliverables of our market transformation efforts include:

  1. Characterize the CEA market.
  2. Build strategic partnerships with a diverse range of market actors to develop a collaborative market intervention strategy.
  3. Provide resources for producer and workforce education and training. 
  4. Prove the effectiveness of resource benchmarking and energy use monitoring in improving the energy performance of CEA facilities. 
  5. Support a robust policy infrastructure for efficient CEA.
  6. Provide guidance to utilities and other efficiency program administrators on incorporating this market transformation initiative into their program portfolios. 
  7. Recognize high-performance operations with a voluntary certification system.

We invite you to join us in this journey. Please reach out if you’d like to discuss our strategy and services.