Could cryptocurrency mining increase your electricity costs? Yes, claims Idaho Power. Things to know

Idaho Statesman: BOISE Miners are swarming to Idaho because of the state’s inexpensive power. According to state officials, the increased energy consumption is taxing the entire electrical grid.

According to Jordan Rodriguez, a representative for Idaho Power, the company actually requested that the Idaho Public Utilities Commission create a new customer class just for large-scale cryptocurrency miners.According to a PUC representative, the new categorization was authorised in June; nevertheless, GeoBitmine, a Puerto Rican cryptocurrency mining company, requested reconsideration. On that petition, the PUC is currently accepting comments.

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Rodriguez added over the phone that “these clients have the potential for considerable energy demand, which could necessitate Idaho Power to create new infrastructure.”The development of a crypto-mining operation at an abandoned J. R. Simplot Co. potato processing plant in Aberdeen that would use waste heat to power year-round greenhouse farming would be stopped, according to GeoBitmine, because the new customer class is discriminatory. The operation was going to be used for seed research by the University of Idaho Research and Extension Center.

According to the petition, both crypto mining and indoor farming would require a steady power load of 6 megawatts. However, GeoBitmine contends that the new classification’s pricing and terms of service “make it impossible to proceed” with the joint venture because of future power outages.For indoor food production, potato storage, and seed research facilities, the loss of energy during the hottest hours of the day in the hottest months of the year would be catastrophic, the business claimed.

Classification is deemed discriminatory by a cryptocurrency mining company.

Additionally, it claimed that because of the classification, ratepayers would be subject to rules that do not apply to any other customer class in Idaho Power’s network.According to GeoBitmine’s petition, “it is black-letter utility law that the commission may not authorise, and utilities may not impose, rates that treat consumers preferentially or to disfavour some customers in favour of other, similarly situated customers.”

According to Rodriguez, rising demand brought on by crypto-mining operations may need the construction of new substations, lines, transmission facilities, and power plants. All customers pay the costs of these assets over time through rates.New infrastructure could result in higher electricity costs for all consumers. The remaining expenses would be left behind if the crypto miners packed up and departed the state, and Idaho Power’s other customers would be responsible for paying them.

And given the turbulence in the cryptocurrency market, it’s not certain how long these miners will endure.In order to fulfil demand, Rodriguez said, “What we don’t want is to have a lot of speculative load come up in a short period of time that could need us to go out and create new resources or purchase a lot of energy.”Operations drawing less than 20 MW would fall under the new classification for industrial cryptocurrency miners. Rodriguez claims that 20 MW can supply electricity to 15,000 houses. Anything larger goes under a pre-existing classification that is regulated by a commission.

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