As of the end of January, crypto miners in Georgia accounted for 34% of the computing power in the Foundry USA mining pool. This is roughly double its share since last year’s third quarter, according to data from the world’s biggest mining pool.
Georgia has several incentives drawing cryptocurrency miners including relatively low energy prices from sustainable resources like nuclear and solar power. While this enables mining companies to brand themselves as being environmentally conscious, it seems like state authorities are making a real effort.
For instance, regulators have been known to help miners find a solar program that allows them to offset their emissions with renewable energy credits. They have also assisted miners by giving them access to power prices a day ahead, enough time to dial down operations before rates spike again. Tales such as these help explain why a consortium of crypto mining companies said they were bringing another 56,000 miners to the state in September.
Another such anecdote deals with Bitcoin miner CleanSpark Inc. after it bought a data center in the Atlanta suburb of College Park. Despite wanting to switch to a cheaper, greener power provider, Georgia law prevented it. However, after intervention by the head of the Georgia Public Service Commission, Tricia Pridemore, who oversees electric companies and power prices in the state, a new deal enabled the cryptocurrency miners to buy the cleaner power at a discount.
“At the end of the day, Georgia wants this business here,” said CleanSpark executive chairman Matt Schultz. “They’ve done everything in their power to grow Bitcoin in the state.”
Despite providing such assistance, Pridemore merely sees her role as talking with miners to tell them what they should know and giving them some ways to accomplish their goals. “I don’t necessarily have an opinion on Bitcoin mining,” she said. “If they consume a lot of energy and we work with the utilities, then they’re a great fit for Georgia.”
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