According to the utility, attracting more companies that use blockchain to the state will boost tax revenue and create new jobs. Black Hills Energy announced today its first agreement to supply power to a crypto mining operation under Wyoming’s Blockchain Interruptible Service Tariff.
According to the company, the unidentified facility will be the largest bitcoin mining operation in the region and is expected be operational by the end.
Linn Evans, Black Hills Corp. CEO, stated that they are “excited to serve this new customer” and would like to explore the benefits available to flexible load customers in the long-term.
According to the company, Wyomingites will reap many financial benefits from attracting blockchain companies that have high energy requirements, such as property and sales taxes and long-term work.
Black Hills Energy is a subsidiary to the Cheyenne Light, Fuel, and Power Company, and is in turn part of Rapid City, South Dakota-based Black Hills Corporation. The company serves over 1.2 million customers across eight states: Arkansas (Colorado, Iowa), Kansas, Montana and Nebraska as well as South Dakota and South Dakota.
The Blockchain Interruptible Service Tariff was first proposed by the energy supplier to the Wyoming Public Service Commission in October 2018. It stated that the state’s current tariffs were not sufficient to attract blockchain businesses while still providing safe, reliable, and affordable service for existing retail customers.
In June 2019, the Tariff was approved to attract new industries with high energy requirements over short periods, particularly blockchain companies.
Shirley Welte, vice president of company, stated that by offering a blockchain interruptionable service option, she was able to meet high energy requirements of the blockchain industry without increasing costs for existing customers.
Black Hills Energy has agreed to deliver 45 megawatts of electricity to the new customer in Cheyenne (Wyoming) for five years. There is also the option to increase service to up to 75 megawatts.
Bitcoin mining has been a topic of intense debate in recent years because it requires a lot of electricity to operate. Mining is not profitable if it consumes too much energy. This negatively impacts the environment. According to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, the Bitcoin network would be 34th in the world for annual electricity consumption.
New York, among others, has begun to consider banning Bitcoin mining due to environmental concerns. This year, many organizations including Wikimedia Firefox and Mozilla have stopped accepting Bitcoin donations. They cited the negative environmental impact.