There’s mining for bitcoin and then there’s taking matters a little too far. A private equity firm based in the States, Atlas Holdings, has purchased an old power plant in New York State that it intends to bring back online. It’s not bringing Greenidge, the fossil-fuel powered facility, back online to supply power to the surrounding area though. No, they’ve got something much more lucrative in mind.
Bobbing for bitcoin
Atlas Holdings intends to use most of the (again, fossil-fuel powered) power plant’s output to run its bitcoin-mining machines. Greenidge will be used to power some 18,000 mining rigs before the end of 2021, and the company behind it intends to add another 10,500 setups to that total afterwards, by adding several data-centres to the facility. All told, it’ll eventually wind up using 79% of the plant’s output — 85MW — for mining cryptocurrency.
The company said, in an SEC filing, that “No direct competitor currently owns and operates its own power plant for the purpose of bitcoin mining.” The company went on, saying, “No other bitcoin-mining operation of this scale in the United States currently uses power generated from its own power plant.”
Not everyone is please, of course. The formerly coal-fired plant may have been converted to natural gas but it still presents an environmental hazard. Residents and environmental groups have filed a lawsuit to try and put a stop to the plant’s expansion, citing pollution fears. But Atlas Holdings has far, far larger plans for the future. It intends, by 2025, to expands its mining capacity to 500MW — or a quarter of the power capacity South Africa loses during Level 2 load-shedding.
Source: Ars Technica