A Bitcoin boom that burns cheap energy, empty plants and a few rules

This month, bitcoin mining, northeast of Niagara Falls, will open at New York State’s last coal mine.

The former aluminum plant at Massena, one of the largest cryptographic sites in the United States, is expanding.

And in Ogo, Metal recycling investor with 11.3 million Instagram followers is getting off to a good start with computer banks in shipping containers.

The rise in Bitcoin values ​​may be a Wall Street investment talk, but in northern New York, a few hours of turmoil ensues against companies that are trying to create digital currency by “mining” in all types of computer farms. Constant screaming in transactions.

In a few years, a swath Northern and Western New York has become one of the largest Bitcoin producers in the country. The creators of this digital gold rush need thousands of cheap electric power tools to make their computers.

The area – cheap hydroelectric power and a large number of closed power plants and old factories – is ripe for Bitcoin mining. Abandoned infrastructure, often associated with power grids, can easily be converted to Bitcoin mining.

The companies say they are reviving the industry and boosting the domestic economy by creating a cryptocurrency van north of New York City.

However, the proliferation of transactions has led to an outcry from Bitcoin over the amount of electricity and pollution in the mines. Globally, cryptocurrencies are said to consume more electricity per year than Argentina. China, a two-thirds home of all crypto mines, has been banned from this year’s practice to help achieve its carbon-reduction goals, driving some of New York’s mines.

As a result, according to environmental groups, the Wild West-type conflict, coupled with restrictions on Bitcoin mining, threatens the state’s own emissions targets, which could further reduce renewable energy and fossil fuels.

Bitcoin companies only need basic construction or planning permits from local governments, and many industrial cities that were eager to generate new commercial tax revenue have disappeared.

Around the Lake Lakes, the former coal mine on Lake Seneca has been transformed into a greenhouse gas-fired natural gas plant, which now operates Bitcoin on the site. Near Buffalo, Bitcoin won a part-time gas-fired power plant that needed cheaper electricity.

Environmental groups such as Earthjustice and Sera Club, which monitor many of New York’s old natural gas plants, say global warming, such as Bitcoin mining, will accelerate climate change.

Plants that buy renewable energy from the grid have also complained. Environmentalists warn that crypto-mining will leave other areas dependent on oil, as a large Bitcoin mine could use more electricity than most cities in the state.

Upstairs hydroelectric power and other types of renewable energy will help large mining companies promote themselves in environmental protection.

The plant, which will be launched northeast of Niagara Falls this month, is part of a $ 550 million $ 550 million project by the Bitcoin mining company Terawlf. The project will include a 150-megawatt data center planned for the former Coal Factory on Lake Kaayga in Finger Lakes.

Paul Prague, CEO of Terrauf’s Somerset Factory, uses the remaining hydroelectric power from the waterfall.

And because the factory obeys the state’s environmental laws and does not cause air pollution, he said, “we consider the regulations as a good thing.”

However, New York did not impose restrictions on mining, despite the fact that many companies involved in the Bit Coin business, including the money trade, applied for a license.

Some municipalities, including Plattsburg and Massachusetts, have banned two early Bitcoin-mining destinations near the Canadian border.

The sanctions have since been lifted, but some lawmakers want to make New York one of the first states to ban Bitcoin mining. In June, the state Senate approved a bill imposing a statewide ban on some fossil fuels; The law died in the assembly.

“It’s easy for these companies to fly under the radar because the industry as a whole is confusing,” said Anna R. Kells, a member of parliament representing the Itaka area and sponsoring the bill. The industry is relatively new to federal or state regulation of greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on water and air. (Ms. Kells says she plans to renew her account next year.)

For the same reason, some environmentalists have called on Governor Kathy Hohlul to issue an executive order banning some crypto mining.

A.D. In 2017, the closed coal mine on Lake Seneca was transformed into a natural gas-fired power plant in Greenwich, owned by Atlas Holdings, a $ 6 billion private equity firm. Greening now introduces itself as the first publicly traded company to merge with Bitcoin as a power plant. The plant has a generating capacity of 106 MW, which will enable it to generate enough electricity for about 85,000 homes.

“The factory is creating a new economic engine that will bring the digital future of the world to northern New York,” said Dell Irwin, CEO of GreenDig.

However, protests by some locals who say the plant’s greenhouse gas emissions have increased with the mining industry have led to rural vineyards, orchards, clean water lines, and international standards.

A local blogger reports on Greenwich’s permission to draw more than 100 million gallons of water a day from Lake Seneca for cooling purposes and then return it to the nearby Trout stream.

Mr Irwin said there was no risk of leaks and that the lake’s temperature was not measured daily by independent sources.

And since 2019, factory emissions have increased, still below government-sanctioned levels, he said. The plant does not pose any environmental threat, he said.

Greenwich is asking the state to renew its licenses, and opponents see the state as an opportunity to stem the company’s expansion.

U.S. and state regulators have asked state officials and federal officials to review the factory’s application closely.

Basil Segos, the region’s environment commissioner, said that due to increasing political and public pressure He wrote on Twitter In September, “Greening did not comply with NY Climate Law.” He urged residents to participate in the public consultation period regarding the renewal of licenses.

In April, Greening received permission from the City of Torrey’s local planning board to build several structures on the plant.

Patrick H. Flynn, a 79-year-old farmer, and Greenwich City Superintendent Greensign called the area a “good thing” for renewable energy.

“We can’t limit business,” he said. “Whether you are making bitcoin or not, it is no different than raising cattle or pigs or chickens.”

Environmentalists have accused Seneca Lake Guardian Vice President Ivon Taylor of failing to conduct environmental assessments and grant approval to local governments before granting permission to Greening.

“This cannot be a city-to-city conflict,” said Taylor, a speech pathologist whose family has lived on Lake Seneca for generations. “We want the buyer to come in. If she wants to be a climate champion, she has to ban this type of power-based cryptocurrency, otherwise we will never achieve our climate goals.”

The GreenDig case is no exception. Digihost, a Buffalo-based Bitcoin company, has been criticized for reviving its gas-fired power plant, which is affecting industrial areas. Among them is the Love Canal, a canal that displaces hundreds of residents around Niagara Falls.

But local officials approved Digihoust’s plan, which often included small jobs and annual fees to cool down the municipal water plant, up to $ 1 million, as the environmental damage to the new operation seemed small compared to the company’s expected benefits, Robert Picoraro said. President of the Joint Council in North Tonawanda, where the plant is located.

Officials at the Digest Houston said the plant operates within state emissions limits, will gradually switch to more renewable energy sources, feed on grids when needed, and help keep the technology industry in western New York while creating at least 30 permanent jobs.

Mr. Pekorroro recently stood outside the gas plant and saw workers building a large shed to accommodate the new ministers. He said he did not understand the opposition to Digihoust and the economic benefits it would bring to the area.

“Over the years, many industries have been left behind,” he said. “And here we are trying to bring in digital and people are fighting for it.”

Leave a Comment