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Press Release

Horticultural Efficiency Advocates Collaborate to Evaluate the Energy Savings Potential of Automation & Controls in Cannabis Cultivation Environments

By September 30, 2021No Comments

PORTLAND (Sept. 2, 2021)–Resource Innovation Institute (RII), in collaboration with leading energy efficiency programs, policy groups, standards organizations and vendors, will host a webinar on Thursday, September 16,  titled “Optimizing Controls & Automation In Cannabis Cultivation Environments: Best practices on maximizing energy and water savings, and harmonizing efficiency incentive programs.” The workshop is part of RII’s ongoing Harvesting Savings series, which explores emerging technologies in controlled environment agriculture (CEA). Register for the event at this link.

Optimizing control of environmental control systems for crop steering can reduce energy and operating costs while increasing yields per square foot. Control system upgrades can pay for themselves by freeing up growers to scout for pests and diseases that may have gone unnoticed, which can prevent crop loss and increase facility productivity.

Grow operations can prioritize using automation to increase precision for fine-tuned production operations, conserve resources, and reduce demand during peak periods. Controls hardware and software designers and manufacturers have solutions purpose-built for cannabis cultivation that have gained the lessons learned from diverse commercial and industrial applications. Sensing equipment is now more specialized for horticultural facilities, lower-cost, more widely available, and more durable than ever before. Environmental control systems gather and monitor data from sensors and report on grow room conditions and system operation so HVAC, lighting, and irrigation systems can maintain target environmental conditions like light intensity, room temperature, and watering rate, and these systems record data efficiency programs can use to claim savings.

The potential savings from lighting and HVAC controls are not well understood by efficiency programs and incentives for high-performance automation approaches are often being calculated using custom assessments of energy savings. Cultivators also struggle to understand how different environmental controls approaches affect their ability to provide consistent conditions and save energy in their growing environments.

Utilities and energy efficiency programs can benefit from understanding traditional and efficient approaches to lighting and HVAC controls to quantify the energy benefits using consistent approaches. Learn how to standardize approaches to harvesting savings to support a greater number of customers and claim more defensible savings.

Participants will learn about:

  • Key concepts
  • Market barriers
  • Technical standards
  • Utility approaches

Who should attend: 

  • Utility and efficiency program implementers
  • Energy code and policy advisors
  • Cultivation industry supply chain professionals like engineers and designers
  • ASHRAE Technical Committee members
  • DLC Hort Working Group members
  • ASTM D37 committee members
  • ASABE technical committee members

Speakers include: 


Hosted by Gretchen Schimelpfenig, Technical Director, Resource Innovation Institute

Moderated by Lindsay Buckwell, Evergreen Consulting Group


  • Colin Brice, Signify
  • Casey Rivero, Fluence by OSRAM
  • Jeannie Sikora, CLEAResult
  • Neda Vaseghi, Microclimates
  • Jan Westra, Priva


Promotional partners include:




1- 2:30 p.m. ET:

Webinar with Technology Overview, Standards for Horticultural Lighting and Environmental Controls Equipment, Utility Incentive Approaches

2:30-3 p.m. ET:

Breakout sessions for Q&A and Discussion on Data, Technology, & Policy Landscape issues


To schedule an interview or request press credentials, please contact Emily Meshell at at 318-564-8195.

About Resource Innovation Institute: Resilient harvests for the next hundred years.

Resource Innovation Institute is a non-profit organization committed to cultivating a better future for all of humanity. Our consortium of members brings perspectives from across the field—uniting architects and engineers, growers and operators, researchers and analysts. Together, we lead the measurement, adoption and celebration of the world’s most efficient agricultural ideas. Founded in 2016 to advise governments, utilities and industry leaders on the resource impacts of cannabis cultivation, an under studied and resource-intensive market, we have since extended our research to other sectors in partnership with the US Department of Agriculture. To take on the challenges of our changing world, we believe that food, medicine and other vital crops demand data-driven insights, securely shared with integrity. By nurturing the human connections in our complex and dynamic industry, we can build fundamentally restorative systems for people and planet. Visit our website at Follow us on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.