Cultivators Have Limited Time to Upgrade Lighting Systems to LEDs With First-Come, First-Served Funding Under California’s “Market Access Program”
What is the Market Access Program?
To ease the strain on California’s energy grid, the State of California authorized the Market Access Program as a strategy to reduce peak demand and mitigate rolling blackouts. The program authorized $150 million to incentivize projects that contribute to energy savings during the summers of 2022 and 2023. There are no cost caps and no product restrictions, but the program funds are first come, first served.
Growers in California have no time to waste because once the incentives dry up, that’s it. We want to make sure that cultivators like you understand that these funds can be used to upgrade outdated lighting systems, like HPS, to advanced LED lighting systems like our MegaDrive® at zero cost to you.
California has issued a large number of cannabis cultivation licenses, increasing competitive pressure both in the market and for these grants. Cannabis cultivators can use the Market Access Program to make their operations more sustainable and eco-conscious. The cannabis industry’s carbon problem has raised alarms following a Colorado State University study that showed the industry causes more pollution than coal.
This doesn’t have to be true but unfortunately, it is. Over two thirds of the cannabis supply in our home State of California is grown on the black market. As you can imagine the underground growers have a short-term focus and are not looking to minimize their carbon footprint nor are they concerned about the negative environmental impact of their operations. While legal cultivators seem to have the deck stacked against them, the Market Access Program is a way to better their odds of success.
Technology can help address many of our environmental issues. It’s the government’s job to do its part to encourage the adoption of these technologies. One of the bigger hurdles at the federal level is access to banking and finance. Transitioning from HID to LED requires a large upfront investment but has a payback period of 12-18 months. In any other industry, this CAPEX decision would be a no-brainer. But U.S. federal laws prohibit banks from financing LED fixtures for a cannabis company, delaying this transition. The California Market Access Program is essentially making difficult-to-access capital available at the state level.
By upgrading to LEDs, growers in California are not only helping prevent rolling blackouts, but they are also improving their bottom line by reducing utility costs, and increasing yields and margins. All this while reducing their carbon footprint and minimizing climate impact makes it a triple win. California Lightworks has already helped reduce 465,813 metric tons of carbon emissions by converting growers to high-efficiency LEDs.
How is MegaDrive® Different?
Compared to the grow operations outfitted with traditional HPS lights, California Lightworks’ MegaDrive increases yield (both in terms of pounds per square foot and pounds per watt) as well as crop quality.
Compared to other LED fixtures, the MegaDrive LED technology reduces fixture costs by up to 30% and installation costs by up to 80%. In addition, these benefits come at a 50% lower operating cost compared to traditional HPS lighting systems.
MegaDrive spectrum and dimming controls can be integrated with third-party greenhouse environmental control systems or done independently using a unique touch screen and wireless solution. Every aspect of yield can be dialed in this way. In addition, the system’s slim linear light design and central power supply reduce shadowing.
MegaDrive installations are great because you have no drivers in the fixtures. The power units that drive and control the lights are installed away from the grow area, up to 300 feet from the light fixtures. The system also simplifies the tuning of light spectrum and intensity, saving energy and increasing yields.
The lighting can simulate sunrise and sunset and allows for daylight balancing automatically via a photosensor. With no power electronics in the fixtures, the lights become very robust and ideal for high humidity environments.
How does it work?
If you are interested in taking advantage of this stellar program before funds dry up, contact us for a free consultation to get started.