Cryptocurrency mining requires a lot of electricity and a lot of money. In recent times, miners have sought access to cheap and accessible electricity to accelerate operations. In this vein, a Canadian company is attempting to build an electrical substation to power its cryptocurrency mining enterprise.
Details of the Proposed Substation
DMG Blockchain, a Canadian company, is currently building what would eventually turn out to be a fully-functioning electrical substation. The substation is located near the Southern British Columbia town of Castlegar and obtains its electricity supply from hydropower.
Steven Eliscu, head of corporate development for DMG, further spoke on the development. According to Eliscu, building the substation costs millions of dollars and required the company to construct access roads in order to haul equipment to the site. The primary objective was to plug the substation into the local grid to power DMG’s expanded mining operations by September.
Eliscu further explaining the process, saying:
“At the end of August, we’ll go through a commissioning process where the utility will test everything as a completed substation and make sure that the town doesn’t blow up when we flip the switch.”
He also said that the company is working together with the local utility and has written approval for the project. Commenting minimally on the DMG substation project and the services they provide, local utility in Castlegar, FortisBC, said:
“These operations typically have significant electricity needs due to the amount of computer hardware employed. As a public utility operating in BC under the Utilities Commission Act, we have an obligation to serve customers in our service area, subject to certain conditions and restrictions, including crypto mining operations.”
Eliscu citing concerns over competition, said:
“We’ve set up an arrangement that, for someone else to jump in, we’re kind of like first in line. I don’t want to say that we have a formal right of first refusal in case someone big did come in, and that’s why we’re very sensitive talking about our power acquisition strategy—there might be a rush if people better understood what we’re doing.”
The Quest for Cheap Electricity to Power Cryptocurrency Mining
It’s no news that cryptocurrency mining consumes a tremendous amount of power. As a result, miners have been looking for ways to get access to cheap, available electricity. But very few countries in the world provide cheap and renewable power. Cold climate places like Iceland and other parts of Scandinavia are prime destinations for miners.
Scandinavia, however, isn’t the only place, as miners have reportedly flocked Central Washington for cheap electricity. These public utility districts include Chelan, Douglas, and Grant Counties. In 2014, both the Chelan and Douglas PUDs imposed moratoriums when the rush was becoming almost unbearable. These moratoriums were in place until new fees and rates could be scheduled. Although, Chelan’s lasted until January 2017. In Douglas County, spokeswoman Meaghan Vibbert said:
“We reviewed our policies and decreased the minimum size of power load requiring a special contract to 1.5 megawatts. The deposit policy was also changed to protect the district from commercial accounts accumulating charges and not paying.”
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