By Garrett Rudolph
As the Washington State Liquor Control Board begins to approve licenses for I-502 businesses, there will be an instant demand for electrical supplies ranging from light bulbs to security systems.
An indoor agri-business will require a variety of electrical components, including lighting (LEDs, fluorescents and high-intensity discharge), switchgear, closed-circuit television systems, ventilation and control systems, among other supplies.
“We can provide these and many other related products,” said Mark Greene, director of business development for North Coast Electric.
They have the resources to handle both large and small commercial operations, said Cobey Woodall, the company’s agri-business specialist.
“We can also provide layout assistance for lighting and equipment,” said Woodall, whose previous experience included working in the Energy Solutions Division.
North Coast Electric is headquartered in Seattle, but also has locations in Bellingham, Everett, Lynnwood, Bellevue, Bremerton, Kent, Tacoma, Longview, Vancouver, Pasco, Wenatchee, Moses Lake, Ellensburg and Spokane. There are also locations in Oregon, Idaho and Alaska. It was founded in 1913 and celebrated its centennial last year.
It is the largest independent, full-line electrical distributor in the West, featuring a total of 32 locations across the Pacific Northwest and 617 employees. The company’s reach also extends beyond the Pacific Northwest footprint through its National Accounts Division, which services customers throughout the United States.
“We have the best team behind us, whether it’s our business partners or our internal associates,” Greene said.
Because of its proven track record, North Coast Electric has strong connections to most of the large- and medium-sized electrical contractors that will be required to do this work, Greene said.
“I can’t emphasize the importance of having strong contractor partners — people that we know are reliable, do good work, and know the local permitting authorities. These guys will be key in getting your facility up and running in a timely fashion.”
Until license applications are approved, most prospective business owners will not want to make a big investment in electrical supplies.
However, potential licensees can get a head start by determining local permitting requirements and how much power is available at your facility, Woodall said.
“In many cases, a switchgear upgrade is going to be a building block for converting your facility into a suitable location for indoor horticulture,” Woodall said.
“The power requirements for a typical warehouse are generally insufficient for heavy equipment loads. If you convert your facility to agri-business, it’s likely that you will need additional distribution equipment to handle increased demand for power,” Greene said.
This is a big economic growth opportunity for the state of Washington, Greene said. The bottom line is to put a solid plan together which includes determining your facility needs and then partnering with a reliable source for your lighting, electrical supplies and power distribution equipment needs, he said.