Mining of cryptocurrencies is being adopted by many crypto enthusiasts these days. Although, in terms of electricity consumption this can get quite demanding. In order to manage the cost of increased electricity demand, Washington’s Chelan County Public Utility District (PUD) intends to apply a new electricity pricing structure for cryptocurrency miners. This might result in some unhappy miners.
Here, Lindsey Mohns, the Customer Utilities Rate Adviser describes the difference between the current and suggested electricity pricing systems, while stating that the rate structure is “built the same way as the existing rate structure that cryptocurrency miners are paying right now.”
Mohns elaborated, “What this new rate structure (Schedule 36) does is brings into it a market consideration on the energy price because we will have to purchase power on the market to serve the variable load associated with cryptocurrency.” Further she added, “Our upfront capital charges are intended to recover the accelerated cost of infrastructure investment in our system, mainly in our substations, which is kind of the main component of the distribution system. So the upfront charges take into account the capacity that’s used by cryptocurrency miners.”
On this, Kimberlee Craig, the Public Information Officer of Chelan PUD said that the district “is addressing (the rate structure) in a way that captures the cost and protects the investment for the customers that are already here and invested greatly in our system.”
Additionally, Denton Meier, a co-owner of Firefly Technologies and Silicon Orchard expressed his thoughts on this, saying, “I think it’s nice to be able to make a comment, but it seems like they’ve already made up their mind. What’s been missing is actually a round-table discussion and more of a brainstorming session.”
Meier believes that Chelan could see an exodus of cryptocurrency miners. He stated “Looking at it in a bigger picture it’s not just mining but services that can happen around that. Like jobs creation in programming, finance, and other things that will happen over time with the cryptocurrency market. We have the opportunity to become a hub for that. With rates that price us out of that ballgame, it’s not that root that we need to then grow those other businesses, so that will happen elsewhere.”
However, Mohns does not believe that mass departure will occur. Let’s see how this will impact miners in the region!