Bitcoin [BTC] miners in the US get ‘Special Price’ on electricity bills

On 12th July, The New York State Public Service Commission [NYPSC] announced that Massena Electric Department has received the approval to “allow high-density load customers such as cryptocurrency companies to qualify for service under an individual service agreement”.

The statement is directed to cryptocurrency miners in the United States who will benefit from an exclusive price for electricity. The New York financial regulators approved the saver-pack plan as proposed by a Massena-based utility provider.

Massena Electric is an electric utility company claimed and operated by the Town of Massena. Possibilities are that the cheaper sources of electricity can attract a large number of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency miners. John Rhodes, Commission Chairman, at the Public Service Commission [PSC] said:

“We must ensure that business customers pay a fair price for the electricity that they consume. However, given the abundance of low-cost electricity in upstate New York, there is an opportunity to serve the needs of existing customers and to encourage economic development in the region,”

Under the new law, with a specific end goal to earn a profit, customers should use more than 300 kilowatt-hours. The special contracts will be surveyed by Massena’s primary utility supplier. It is stated that it must shield existing clients from expanded supply costs that are caused by the new administration.

The official press release by The New York State Public Service Commission says:

“By the Commission action today, high-density load customers in Massena’s territory may be eligible for service under an individual service agreement if the customer provides benefits to the utility which should lower costs for Massena’s existing customers. Massena’s tariff revisions will become effective July 17, 2018.”

New Bitcoin tokens and other mineable cryptocurrencies are produced through a process called mining. In this process, computers use electricity and computational assets to solve complex mathematical issues that verify a recent block of Bitcoin transactions.

The Bitcoin network currently consumes about 2.55 gigawatts [GW] of electricity per year. To put that into perspective, the entire country of Ireland has an average electricity consumption of 3.1 GW, and Austria has an average electricity consumption of 8.2 GW per year. Over the past year, the estimated amount of TwH that the Bitcoin network consumes per year increased 413.37%.

Notably, Coinmint, a mining facility, had transformed a 1,300-acre Alcoa aluminium smelting plant based in Massena into a mining farm with a $ 50 million investment earlier this year. The company then decided to expand with 435-megawatt capacity, resulting in it becoming the largest BTC mining centre in the world.

Speculations are that the Massena Electric Department proposed the ‘Special Price’ concept due to the newly established mining center in the area.

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