A Northeast Portland power company is trying to blame indoor cannabis gro-ops for its customers experiencing power blackouts over the last six months.
Since July, there have been seven outages that the power company has blamed on marijuana, because of insufficient electrical work on the circuits.
Indoor grow ops are causing the outages, according to power company
The power company said that it was two indoor growing operations that caused the outage and that 200 customers were effected in the interim. Although Tom Gauntt, spokesman for the utility company, Pacific Power, admitted that seven outages since July is not a lot, he would rather tackle this before it is a real problem.
He said that the outage blew a transformer at the power company and it took over two hours to rectify the problem with its effected customers. He says the problem is not that marijuana is being grown and electricity is being used, but that the lack of advanced notification means that they weren’t prepared.
He says that if grow operations are starting in the area, and the expected electricity output is going to be increased, that commercial customers should notify the company in advance. That way they have a chance to rectify the problem before it loses them too much money.
Power company is hesitant to add grow sites to the bill
This particular power company is slightly hesitant to add grow sites to their electrical grid because of the effect this will have on residents and local customers. Despite their hesitance to jump on board with the booming marijuana economy, it could be beneficial to get in early on a flourishing industry.
The power company has admitted that at least ten percent of the transformers it has to replace annually are ruined by indoor growing operations. The estimate is that a four plant operation consumes the same amount of energy as 29 refrigerators that are connected all day and all night.
However, the most overwhelming concern is growers not employing licensed electricians. This is the reason that power outages continue to occur, and if a licensed electrician organizes the operation it is less likely to cause power blackouts.
For this reason local power companies in Portland are simply asking for advanced notice for increased electricity use.