Albany, NY (AP) —New York officials refused to renew the required air permit to the Bitcoin mining power plant on Thursday because it was a threat to the state’s climate goals.
The permit decision was another example of New York that put a brake on the cryptocurrency jackpot that surprised environmentalists. It also happens when cryptocurrency prices plummet, sweeping property, fueling skepticism and creating the need for scrutiny.
The state’s permit decision included Greenidge Generation, an old coal-fired power plant on the shores of Lake Seneca, which was once closed, but was converted from coal to natural gas a few years ago and went into full swing in 2020. Bitcoin mining has started.
Today, most of the power generated by the plant is used to run over 15,000 computer servers for Bitcoin mining, consuming large amounts of power.
In refusing to renew, the State Department of Environmental Protection said that the conversion of the plant to a cryptocurrency mining business has created a significant new demand for energy “for a whole new purpose unrelated to the original permit.” Said to mean.
“Instead of helping meet the state’s current electricity needs as originally explained, the facility is primarily operated to meet its own significant new energy load,” the authorities said in a letter to the company. Said in.
The company said it would continue to operate under current permits while disagreeing with the decision. It said there was “no credible legal basis” for the denial.
“Given these facts, it is ridiculous to reasonably argue that renewing this particular permit for a facility that occupies a small portion of the state’s power generation capacity would hamper New York’s long-term climate goals. That wouldn’t be the case, “the company said.
A climate activist who sees Greenidge as a test case has urged Governor Kathy Hokul’s administration to refuse to renew the plant’s air quality permit and block similar projects.
This decision is made when Hochul is deciding whether to sign a two-year moratorium on new and renewed air permits for fossil fuel power plants used for proof of work mining.
Greenidge is unaffected by this kind of first moratorium measure targeting new applications.
New York attracts many companies that need cheap energy to run the huge computer arrays needed for energy-intensive “proof of work” cryptocurrency mining. Digital money.
Greenidge states that even if the plant is fully operational, its potential emissions are equivalent to 0.23% of the state’s greenhouse gas emission reduction target for 2030. The company claimed that the plant was 100% carbon neutral with the purchase of carbon offsets. Forestry programs and projects to capture methane from landfills.
Environmentalists were happy with the denial.
“Governor Hokul and DEC stood by science and people and sent a message to outside speculators. The former fossil fuel burning plant in New York is a gas-intensive Bitcoin mining cancer in our community. It’s not yours to resume as, “Yibonne said. Taylor, Vice President of the Advocacy Organization Seneca Lake Guardian.