In brief

  • New York energy company Greenidge Generation has added a mining data center to its power generation site.
  • The company will use behind-the-meter electricity to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.
  • Greenidge aims to tap the profitability of both the cryptocurrency and the energy markets.

Greenidge Generation, an energy company based in Dresden, upstate New York, has announced that it successfully added a mining data center to its power generation site. The project aims to create a self-sufficient outfit that will use behind-the-meter electricity to mine Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies.

“The upgraded site, representing an investment of $65 million, includes a fully integrated, behind-the-meter cryptocurrency mining operation [...] for the mining of mainstream digital currencies such as Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash,” the company said in a press release.

To this end, Greenidge says it hired an experienced team of cryptocurrency experts and power plant operators, as well as partnered with the local community, premier hardware manufacturers and mining pools. Additionally, the company claims to have access to the cheapest natural gas in the United States thanks to its connection to the Empire Pipeline’s system.

Bitcoin’s energy cost

The reported full capacity of the “mining plant” is 106 MW. Currently, around 7,000 mining units are already operational, utilizing more than 14 MW. Notably, the construction of the new facility was finished in less than four months.

“A power plant generating electricity behind-the-meter to energize its very own mining operation allows investors to tap the profitability of not only cryptocurrency markets but also energy markets,” said Kevin Zhang, director of blockchain strategies at Greenidge Generation.

As Decrypt reported last September, American blockchain entrepreneur Rhett Creighton estimated that over $4 billion is being spent on electricity for Bitcoin mining each year. Furthermore, researchers from the University of New Mexico found that around half of all value created by Bitcoin mining in 2018 contributed to health and climate damages.

Considering that Greenidge Generation uses natural gas as its energy source and reportedly “complies with all applicable regulations for a minimum impact on the environment,” it could be on to something.