David Thill, Energy News Network
The state law seeks to avoid blackouts and other grid problems when its marijuana law takes effect Jan. 1.
When Illinois’ new law legalizing recreational marijuana takes effect Jan. 1, growers will face some of the strongest energy efficiency and reporting requirements in the country.
Marijuana can be an energy intensive crop. The new electricity load to power lighting, heating and ventilation for indoor grow facilities has strained the grid and even caused blackouts in other places after it was legalized.
The Illinois law seeks to avoid those problems by mandating efficiency standards and capping the amount of power used per square foot. Clean energy advocates said they were hopeful the law would lead other states to follow suit, though more work is needed between utilities and growers to manage power demand.