Jul 11, 2022
Bitcoin Miners Shut Off Rigs as Texas Power Grid Nears Brink
(Bloomberg) -- Nearly all industrial scale Bitcoin miners in Texas have shut off their machines as the companies brace for a heat wave that is expected to push the state’s power grid near its breaking point.
Miners such as Riot Blockchain Inc., Argo Blockchain Plc and Core Scientific Inc., who operate millions of energy-intensive computers to secure the Bitcoin blockchain network and earn rewards in the token, flocked to the Lone Star State thanks to its low energy costs and liberal regulations on crypto mining. The state has become one of the largest crypto-mining hub by computing power in the world.
“There are over 1,000 megawatts worth of Bitcoin mining load that responded to ERCOTs conservation request by turning off their machines to conserve energy for the grid.” Lee Bratcher, president of Texas Blockchain Association told Bloomberg in an email response. “This represents nearly all industrial scale Bitcoin mining load in Texas and allows for over 1% of total grid capacity to be pushed back onto the grid for retail and commercial use.”
The all-time peak record for energy usage was set Friday with 78,206 megawatts, breaking the previous unofficial all-time peak of 77,460 megawatts that occurred on July 5, according to data from the state’s power operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas. The operator has been working with Bitcoin miners, who are required to turn off their mining machines when the state faces energy shortages.
While Texas is likely to face more energy shortages in the future, ERCOT expects crypto miners to increase electricity demand by up to six gigawatts by mid-2023, more than enough to power every home in Houston.
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