The need for solar
Back in 2018 our leadership team was asked by a former employer, a general contractor, to generate a bid for a solar energy system on a local cannabis cultivation operation. The cannabis producer was about to be acquired by a newly developing publicly traded cannabis company and included in their acquisition mission was a desire to ensure that all their facilities were employing the latest in energy efficiency and renewable applications.
Long story short; the 15,000 square foot facility would accommodate a 100-kilowatt solar array producing well over 160,000 kilowatt hours a year of clean energy which would only offset 8% of their usage. Even more discouraging was the 8% energy offset represented an underwhelming 4% in actual energy bill savings. (Learn more about that unique phenomenon on our DC-to-DC page.)
The owners were anything but enthusiastic about investing over $250,000 for a meager offset and to wait for over 16 years to see breakeven.
A Better Solution
Not all was lost as word was out in the solar world that the company was bidding this project. A former SolarCity/Tesla colleague of ours heard about the project and introduced him to our COO who was finalizing the technology to circumvent the typical DC to AC solar designs that make solar proposals so hard to pencil.
Turns out that as soon as we put decades of experience together, the first low voltage LED vegetation light, dubbed the “Infinilight” V.1, was born. Yield and quality results proved the Infinilight V.1 to be a superior source of cannabis lighting for a substantial energy savings. Additional tests with the V.1 lamp were yielding 3 pounds of product with 10+ % increases in THC.
Cannabis industry Head Grow Masters look first to yield and then to cost reduction. Our solution did both! Now, with InfiniLight v.5, the SCT team can offer cultivators a superior light source that by-passes the ‘grid’ and is powered by our Infinergy system composed of integrated solar arrays, efficient battery storage, low voltage LED grow lighting (InfiniLights) and our intelligent monitor and control system (Cortex).
The SCT design and development team have evolved the V.5 to offer customized spectra, customized optics, and multiple energy efficient strategies to fit any cultivation facilities needs. SCT has, in addition to its own research and showroom facility, major operators using our energy and grow solutions. In each case, test yield requirements were matched and often exceeded with an average THC content increase exceeding 10%. Along with the energy savings, our solutions had a significant impact on company profit margins.
One small detail remained to be solved:
What happens if there isn’t enough sun to light things up or recharge the batteries? Understanding this possibility, each of our Infinergy Storage units is backed up by any one of numerous alternative power sources including the A/C drip systems, generators, turbines, etc.
We realized what we needed was an energy management eco-system, all controlled by the intelligence of the Infinergy Cortex ensuring we use the right alternative energy source, at the right time, and as inexpensively as possible. We have found that with our DC to DC engineering design we can deliver 3x more lighting value per solar panel compared to conventional commercial solar.
Additionally, due to our primary energy source being a storage unit, our lights provide for abatement of demand charges from the local utility for the energy created by the solar system. Read more about that on our Renewables & Cannabis page.