Oregon Power Providers Point Finger at Cannabis Grows

A pair of Oregon power companies say that legal indoor marijuana cultivation businesses are taking Oregon’s electrical grid above capacity and are behind several transformer blowouts over the last year.

Now, utility companies are asking cannabis growers to consult power providers before starting home or commercial growing to make sure electrical systems are working properly.

Since July, indoor grows have been behind seven blown-out transformers belonging to Pacific Power, causing outages and equipment damage, according to the Spokesman-Review.

Portland General Electric blows out about 400 transformers annually, and about 10% of those are from growing operations, the paper reported.

Just one or two indoor growing operations with poorly managed electricity can overload the local grid, blowing the transformer and causing an outage.

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10 comments on “Oregon Power Providers Point Finger at Cannabis Grows
  1. Frank Wolf on

    Well this goes to show just how behind the times Pacific Power is…and probably other utility providers as well.

    If as a group indoor cannabis cultivation’s “…10%” usage can blow-out a grid then the grid itself should be under question, not its usage.

    This is just another anti-cannabis mindset hype, like cannabis cultivation
    water usage in California…read the data, not the hype and it’s pretty plain that cannabis is only the scape goat for the closed minded, the status quo oligarchs, and their entrenched businesses.

    Subvert the dominant paradigm! Free-up cannabis and wholly new industries will develop from it; brand new rejuvenated businesses will spring-up from it; millions of imprisoned fathers, mothers, sons and daughters will be free from needless incarceration, and most importantly, perhaps, we’ll have a happier, more creative, revitalized culture all across this great land of ours!

    Canada is poised to legalize, Mexico too. I say “Kick the ossified bums out!” …of office that is!!!

  2. Adam on

    As posted previously, LED lighting is the way to. I’m currently developing a LED fixture with great micro mole readings. It’s been in test grows for the last 6 months and is producing equivalent weight to HPS, BUT with half the power needs and none of the cooling needed for HPS.

  3. Ma Dang on

    again on the part of Pacific Power, prior planning would have prevented piss poor performance on their part !
    Profit margins has precluded them from updating power grids that are obsolite based on service demands of the ever increasing population and businesses in Oregon. Indoor MJ grows use no more electricity than other manufacturing facilities and are under zoning restrictions that generally place them in areas of similar usage, who’s to say which business caused the spike and resulted in the problem ? Generally speaking indoor Grows are set up to be as efficient as possible, while using power at off peak times when power is least expensive and most available. Their use is also consistent and constant allowing the power provider to schedule power supplies as needed.

  4. Timmer on

    Frank is right
    l its fairly easy to burn a residential transformer. but it was more likely from squirrels crossing the phases that from a grow. but it is possible that they were undersized and haven’t been upgraded since the 70s – 90s. its no new news that this countries service grid is woefully inadequate even before you have growers pushing the system.
    “Master electrician since ’87”

  5. Lyle Courtsal on

    Once again, cannabis is the tar baby for the fascists. Our grid is subject to routine brownouts and power surges as the demand and the supply change for whatever reason, so for the usual suspects to blame cannabis growers for their failing is both wrong and sadly common behavior for many proto-nazi amerikkkans. And yes, our utility up here, owned by a corporation in Australia, left many maintenance upgrades to the PUD that bought it out, sticking them with the expense; see ya, suckahs, har, har, har!!!

  6. Lyle Courtsal on

    I forgot the really big doozy fascist crime on this; when Cheney and friends shut down the altamont wind farm in California a few years ago to create a power shortage in the 72 hour spot market in order to drive the power price up; talk to Maria Cantwell about that one!!

  7. Ron Robinson on

    Relax, once farmers are allowed to grow this crop in an efficient manner only those with LEDs will be able to afford burning electrons.

  8. bongstar420 on

    Either the grid isn’t sectioned properly or home growers are producing commercial quantities..

    Either way, its not related to legitimate enterprise.


    a) its not the growers responsibly to correctly design the city’s electric grid

    b) home growers should not be using more than 1500w for their grows.

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