Nuclear Powered Bitcoin Mining Might Soon Be a Reality in Ohio

July 16, 2021, 11:00 AM AEST - 2 months ago

As the green Bitcoin trend continues, the spotlight now shines on nuclear power as a means of generating sustainable, carbon-free energy for bitcoin mining.

Energy Harbor Corp, an independent power producer, stated earlier this week that it had entered into a five-year partnership with Standard Power. The deal is to provide carbon-free electricity from its nuclear fleet to Standard Power’s Bitcoin (BTC) mining centre, which is set to begin at the end of this year, according to a press release.

We are happy to partner with customers who are focused on minimising their impact on the environment while driving a new clean energy future in our local Ohio economy.

John Judge, Energy Harbor President and CEO

The collaboration will allow Standard Power, a hosting provider for bitcoin miners and other data-processing companies, to turn an abandoned paper mill in Coshocton, Ohio, into a mining facility.

We selected Ohio because of its low electricity costs with availability of carbon-free sources of energy.  By partnering with Energy Harbor, we have proactively structured our hosting capabilities to ensure that 100 percent of the power associated with this facility is carbon-free.

Maxim Serezhin, Standard Power CEO

Not the Only Nuclear Game in Town

Oklo, a nuclear fission startup, also has plans to provide clean power to its new bitcoin mining partner, Compass. With a 20-year contract, Oklo plans to supply Compass with 150 megawatts of clean power in the first phase of the partnership.

Compass operates hosting facilities where individual miners can have their miners set up and operated for them, and it is working to be 100 percent carbon free.

Oklo is part of a wave of companies developing smaller reactors that it claims would be faster and cheaper to build than conventional nuclear plants. Such reactors could be relatively small and would generate a lot of power without harmful emissions.

The company is still in the process of being approved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) for its small reactors, which could run on radioactive waste. The first Oklo reactors will be deployed in 2023 or 2024 and the costs will be “considerably” less than the energy sources Compass plugs into now, according to Compass founder and CEO Whit Gibbs.

Assuming it receives approval, Oklo will be looking at sites in Idaho, as well as in Alaska.

Bitcoin Energy Concerns Spurring Green Partnerships

During the past few months, the Bitcoin network’s contentious power consumption has received a lot of attention from mainstream media. In turn, this has sparked numerous green partnerships such as those mentioned above, as well as last month’s news of Square investing in solar bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin miners are constantly trying to find ways to decrease their operational costs. By directing themselves toward the cheapest energy sources available, they can ensure lower operating costs, increase longevity, and add security to the Bitcoin network.

The incentives that Bitcoin offers in return, by just running a program on a machine, have caught the attention of both power producers and tech companies alike.

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