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Texas's intense heat wave forces crypto miners to pause their operations

12-Jul-2022 By: Rohit Tripathi
Texas's intense heat

Texas's intense heat wave forces crypto miners to pause their operations

Many cryptocurrency miners have ceased operations in anticipation of the state's electrical system being unable to satisfy demand, as many areas of Texas had days with temperatures well over 100 degrees Fahrenheit in July.

Due to the "record-high energy demand" anticipated for Monday, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, urged Texas citizens and businesses to save electricity on Sunday. ERCOT predicted that the demand for energy in Texas might exceed the supply, in part because of air conditioners operating in the sweltering heat.

According to the energy provider's forecasting algorithm, demand might hit a record high of 79,615 megawatts (MW). Although increased wind and solar energy production is said to have reduced energy costs in Texas in June, ERCOT reported on Sunday that wind generation was "generating significantly less than what it has historically generated in this time period" — less than 8% of capacity when demand was anticipated to be at its peak.

In anticipation of the demand that Texas' electrical system would not be able to meet, many cryptocurrency miners in the Lone Star State have declared they have already reduced or stopped their operations. Crypto miner Core Scientific announced on Twitter on Monday that it has temporarily turned off all of its ASIC servers in Texas "to bring assistance to folks in Texas."

According to a Riot Blockchain spokesperson, the Whinstone plant in Rockdale reduced its energy usage throughout the summer at ERCOT's request, using 8,648 MWh less. Peter Wall, the CEO of Argo Blockchain, also stated that the company has scaled up activities in the state; he was probably alluding to its Helios site in Dickens County.

Wall stated, “that in times of heavy power demand, humans should come first, not crypto mining. We take ERCOT's conservation alerts seriously and scale back our mining activities as necessary. This was something that several of our mining industry counterparts.”

ERCOT made its decision as a number of cryptocurrency mining firms continued to open new facilities in Texas, perhaps attracted by the state's flexible regulatory structure and affordable energy prices. In June, Riot Blockchain revealed that it intended to "transport the remainder of its S19 miner fleet" from New York to Texas, while the Swiss cryptocurrency mining company White Rock Management disclosed that it will be expanding its operations to the United States, beginning with Texas.

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