As a massive winter storm hits Texas, Bitcoin (BTC/USD) mining companies in the state have started shutting down operations to help ease the strain on the state’s hard-pressed electric grid. A report unveiled this news earlier today, noting that the crypto mining firms are taking these measures as part of trying to prevent last February’s disaster from repeating itself.
Reportedly, a deep freeze triggered outages that left 10 million Texans without electricity at the time. The deep freeze also resulted in a multi-system meltdown that left hundreds of people dead, following an outage that lasted several days. By powering down operations, crypto companies hope to divert the power they use to households and businesses in the state.
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Among the companies that have decided to pause operations is Riot Blockchain, one of the biggest publicly traded crypto mining companies in America. According to the report, the firm started shutting down power to its Rockdale mining farm on February 1, a process that takes phases.
Sharing the company’s progress in reducing the amount of energy it is supplying to its mining farms, Trystine Payfer, Riot Blockchain’s Director of Communications, said,
As the storm has progressed, we have continued to decrease our power consumption by 98%-99%. So currently, we are only using 1%-2% of power.
Payfer added that the company intends to continue managing its power usage until the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) grid is stable again.
Following it Riot’s footsteps, other crypto mining firms across Texas have cut back on the amount of electricity they direct to their mining farms.
Speaking about the sacrifice the companies are making, Nathan Nichols, the CEO of Rhodium Enterprises, a fully integrated bitcoin miner using liquid-cooled infrastructure, tweeted,
Texas based Bitcoin miners are curtailing their load starting TODAY to help provide excess power reserves for #WinterStormLandon. We are proud to help stabilize the grid and help our fellow Texans stay warm.
While not every miner is willing to power down their energy-intensive mining rigs, some have said they will respond in real-time depending on the grid’s needs. However, this may not be the case. To avoid a February 2021-like situation, ERCOT has reportedly established demand response programs, which will pay major industrial users to cut power.
According to Fred Thiel, the CEO of Marathon Digital, another big player in the US mining industry, ERCOT expects the same kind of grid load in winter as it would have in summer. To this end, he believes the entity will curtail some miners on Friday or Saturday.
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