US utility halts all requests to power new crypto miners

July 31, 2018
Chris Wheal

A power utility in Washington state has halted all applications for electricity from cryptocurrency mining operations, the Seattle Times reported on Monday.

 

GPU rigs at a cryptocurrency mining operation

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Franklin Public Utility District (PUD), a customer-owned power supplier, is to launch a moratorium on the impact of crypto mining on the electrical network before it will accept any further applications. It said it was also to consider a new rates structure.

Low rates

High-usage miners have been attracted by the low power rates in rural states with plentiful supplies of cheap hydro-electricity. However, some utilities are becoming concerned about the longer-term impact on supply for residents and other businesses.

Chelan PUD, another Washington public utility, enforced a moratorium on cryptocurrency mining back in April after it discovered activity from unauthorised miners, raising concerns over its grid’s security and safety.

Power theft

Following its moratorium, Chelan enforced measures that would recognise unauthorised power loads as theft and issued fines and penalties that included service disconnection.

Growth in mining activities prompted a New York state public service regulator to approve new rates for upstate utility, Massena Electric Department, to individually negotiate tariffs for high-density load customers such as crypto miners.

The Public Service Commission of New York said earlier this month that it had received an increasing number of requests for individual service agreements from customers that “need disproportionately large amounts of power”.

Post written by Chris Wheal
Chris Wheal is editor of OpenLedger's news and features service. An award-wining business journalists himself, he runs a team of freelance journalists from across the UK and north America.

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