Even With Energy Surplus, Canada Unable to Meet Electricity Demands of Bitcoin Miners
Canada’s Hydro Quebec will have to turn away cryptocurrency miners looking to setup operations in the province. The electricity supplier has been inundated with requests from cryptocurrency miners looking to setup operations in energy-rich province Quebec, according to Reuters.
Many miners, including giants like China-based Bitmain, have made it clear that they are looking to setup new mining operations overseas in countries with low power costs and surplus of energy. The crack down on cryptocurrency exchanges in China, as well as talks of power regulations applying to miners, has prompted miners to consider new sites to operate from.
Bitmain told Reuters that it has been mining in Canada since 2016, although the location of their Canadian operation was not revealed.
Canada’s surplus isn’t enough
Ironically, Hydro Quebec may have to renege on its commercial power strategy – as forecasts show that they would not be able to meet the booming demand of industries looking to take advantage of the energy surplus in the province. The company is reviewing its plans after 70 cryptocurrency mining operators applied to set up shop in the province in the space of the week.
Hydro Quebec claims to have a surplus of 100 terawatt hours over 10 years. As a reference, Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index estimates the combination of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash’s estimated annual electricity consumption around 31 terawatt-hours
Not enough power
The utility supplier’s spokesman, Marc-Antoine Pouliot, told Reuters that the sheer number of companies looking to start cryptocurrency mining operations in the province is not sustainable, even with the surplus created by Hydro Quebec.
“We are receiving dozens of demands each day. This context is prompting us to clearly define our strategy. We won’t be able to power all the projects that we’re receiving. This is evolving very rapidly so we have to be prudent.”
The utility has also been actively attracting data centers to the province since 2016, citing the potential for job creation by these centers.
In an earlier interview with Reuters, HQ business development director David Vincent said potential mining operators were looking at sites with energy demands ranging from those of data centers to that of power-hungry as metal smelting plants.
Another stumbling block in the way of cryptocurrency operations being established is the lack of buildings ready for occupation.