Bitcoin miners stayed down for over a week to ensure that vital services were prioritized during heat waves. Despite record-breaking temperatures in Texas, Bitcoin mining operations have been resumed.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas asked that Bitcoin miners in Texas cease operations on July 10. This was to alleviate pressure on the power grid.
Romain Nouzareth (cofounder, chairman and CEO of Bitcoin mining company SATO) said in an interview to Decrypt, “It’s essential to manage the grid wherever you are.”
He stated that performance is what we strive for and that clean energy and the way computers are managed to make them do one thing, which is to put our digital property in stone every ten minutes, is how we achieve it.
Nouzareth pointed out that although most Bitcoin mining operations are connected to the local power grids, some use other energy sources such as wind and hydropower.
Nouzareth stated that Texas Bitcoin miners stopped mining after the state made a decision to conserve energy. He also said that it was extremely beneficial for Bitcoin miners around the world to manage peak electricity loads through curtailment.
Curtailment refers to the intentional reduction of output below the optimum production level to balance energy supply or demand, or to address transmission and demand constraints. Load curtailment refers to the removal of or reduction of electrical loads from a utility grid system for a specified time in response to a request by the utility operator.
Peter Wall, CEO of Argo Blockchain, stated that sixteen Texas-based companies have reduced operations and returned around 1,000 megawatts to the grid. This is just over 1%.
Wall stated that just over 1% was returned to ensure there were no brownouts. “There were no issues with supply being unable to meet demand,” Wall said.
Wall maintained his support for the right thing to be done, but also acknowledged the economic incentives that could be used to curtail the practice such as a reduction in transmission costs over the next year.
Wall stated that during the second quarter 2022 briefing of the Bitcoin Mining Council, Wall said that “We’re very pleased to be set-up there [in Texas].”
Wall observed that renewable energy producers often have to reduce energy based on market and grid conditions.
Wall stated that when a grid uses a lot renewables, like Texas (which is the country’s top producer of wind [power]), you’re constantly trying to manage supply as well as demand.
Critics continue to be concerned about the energy consumption of proof–of-work (PoW), blockchains such as Bitcoin.
MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor created the Bitcoin Mining Council. This was after Elon Musk stated in May that Tesla would not accept Bitcoin due to “rapidly increasing fossil fuels for Bitcoin mining, transactions and processing.”
The Bitcoin Mining Council includes Argo Blockchain and Riot Blockchain. Galaxy Digital is also a member. According to the group, it was formed to encourage transparency, share best practices and educate the public about Bitcoin and Bitcoin mining.
According to the Texas Blockchain Council (TX Blockchain Council), mining in the Lone Star State is on the rise, with more than 27 companies operating in Texas, since Governor Greg Abbott opened it earlier this year.
Even the Texas city of Fort Worth has joined the fray and started a mining operation in April.