Bitcoin (BTC) miners keep on finding ways to use the excess power which would otherwise go wasted – this time shaking hands with operators of struggling, carbon-free nuclear plants.
This may be a perfect match as the nuclear power plants need more customers amid rising competition that has cheaper power sources, while Bitcoin miners need exactly what they have to offer – stable and carbon-free power, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing “executives and analysts.”
Also, this may be a particularly well-suited solution for the miners, as they continue to face backlash over their operations’ power consumption and environmental impact.
According to the report, in Ohio, starting in December, Standard Power mining center will get power from nuclear generator Energy Harbor Corp. Furthermore, Talen Energy Corp. entered into a joint venture with Bitcoin-mining company TeraWulf Inc. They started land development next to its nuclear plant in Pennsylvania for a mining facility which is expected to be the size of four football fields.
New nuclear projects are reportedly eyeing cryptocurrency miners as well. As reported, in July, Oklo, a California-based company developing clean energy plants, announced a 20-year commercial partnership with Compass Mining, a US-based online marketplace for Bitcoin mining hardware and hosting, to introduce advanced nuclear fission to supplement fossil fuels and “promote diversity and sustainability in the energy sources used by miners.”
This deal doesn’t include a set price for power, but Whit Gibbs, chief executive of Compass, told the WSJ that he is confident that the companies will agree on a price that allows for profitable cryptocurrency mining. Jacob DeWitte, co-founder and chief executive at Oklo, said he had received inquiries from other interested Bitcoin miners, but federal approval is still needed, he added, and this isn’t likely to happen until 2023-2025.
Still, Bill Dugan, a director at energy advisory firm Customized Energy Solutions, opined that, despite more “nuclear-bitcoin tie-ups” being expected, it’s unlikely that they’ll be large enough or happen fast enough to save many nuclear plants.
Meanwhile, Mayor Francis Suarez is presenting Miami as a destination for crypto miners, exchanges and investment firms, mentioning the nuclear-power plant which is owned by Florida Power & Light. There have been talks with this company’s officials which have included the possibility of mining facilities being located near the nuclear plant, and finding cheap land to build warehouses for mining gear, said Suarez.