Crypto Miners in Texas Are Using Solar Power to Mine Bitcoins

In a new effort to make cryptocurrencies less expensive and more sustainable, Block and Blockstream are preparing to open a fully solar-powered Bitcoin mine in June. Block, the digital payments company formerly known as Square, and blockchain specialist Blockstream have each invested $6 million in the pilot project, which Blockstream CEO Adam Back said will initially produce around 0.1 bitcoin each day.

Tesla solar panels and batteries will be installed at the Blockstream center in west Texas.

We thought we’d try the theory in practice so that we can present people with actual data they can use to quote and cite,” Back said. He added that the goal is not simply to create bitcoins, but to show that mining can help finance renewable energy infrastructure.

The logic, according to Back, is that the bitcoin creation center can only use excess electricity generated by renewable energy facilities, with the bulk of the electricity being consumed by ordinary homes and businesses. It takes an increasing amount of electricity to mine bitcoin, requiring a series of complex computer calculations.

It is not the first cryptocurrency project to rely entirely on renewable energy. If the test proves successful, the two partners have already discussed expanding the project up to 100 times.

In El Salvador, where bitcoin is now an official currency, mining occurs at a geothermal power plant that harnesses energy from nearby volcanoes. Criticized for its massive consumption of electricity, the cryptocurrency sector has made several efforts in recent years to achieve an environmentally friendly model.

Numerous companies have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2030 under the Crypto Climate Accord.


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