A crypto-mining data center in the state of South Australia is powered primarily by solar-generated electricity, according to a media report. The mint is set in a region known for energy-intensive iron ore mining and steel production.
Bitcoin Farming to Cryptocurrency Mining on Solar and Excess Energy in South Australia
The South Australian town of Haila Steel is home to a new solar-powered crypto mining facility. The 5-megawatt facility, operated by Lumos Digital Mining Company, processes bitcoin, a process often criticized for its energy-intensive nature.
Australia’s national broadcaster ABC said in a report that at a time when the world is trying to reduce energy consumption, the leading cryptocurrency by market capitalization uses more energy than mid-sized countries like Argentina. It is echoing repeated criticism from the media around the world.
Local officials see the solar-based crypto-mining project as proof that generating bitcoins can be more environmentally friendly. Commenting on the negotiations, South Australia’s Minister of State for Trade and Investment Nick Champion said:
This is essential to unlock blockchain, a very energy-intensive industry. I think the beginning of a new economy is here in Hawala.
The government official hopes to see other data centers mining cryptocurrency using renewable energy in the future. “There will be a need for blockchain, but I think we will see more and more applications like this for a carbon-neutral blockchain,” he expects.
His statement comes after a recent White House Science and Technology Policy report estimated that cryptocurrency production in the United States alone represents 0.3 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
According to a representative of Lumos Digital Mining, the new crypto farm can generate about 100 BTC per year depending on the available power. Angelo Condylas said the company could sell some of its solar power to other consumers or raise crypto production to use surplus energy from various sources when electricity generation exceeds demand.
Kondylas pointed out that when using low consumption, power plants can suffer significant losses. “We’re basically like a sponge. We soak up unused profits,” he explained. The operator plans to eventually double the size of the mine.
With growing investor interest in solar-based coin projects in the U.S. and the potential for cryptocurrency farms working on associated petroleum gas (APG) in Russia’s oil fields, Bitcoin mining in renewable and renewable energy is gaining traction around the world.
Do you expect to see more cryptocurrency farms powered by renewable energy? Share your thoughts on the topic in the comment section below.
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