Canadian Regulator to Maintain Low Electricity Rates for Crypto Miners Under New Rules
Canada’s Quebec province said it would maintain its existing rates for digital currency mining and will also make enough energy available for the production of cryptos.
Last year, Quebec stopped the approvals for new digital currency mining projects so that the province could weigh restrictions on their operations and if they wish to raise the rates they pay for power.
Régie de l’énergie, the energy regulator of the mostly French-language province released new rules for cryptocurrency miners on Monday. Announced by major Canadian electricity provider Hydro Quebec, under the new regulations, the regulator has ordered the power producer to allocate 300 megawatts (MW) to the blockchain industry.
“This 300 MW will be in addition to the 158 MW already granted to existing customers approved by Hydro-Quebec, and to the 210 MW granted to existing customers approved by municipal distributors,” the announcement explains.
In order to receive this specially allocated power, companies must pass a selection process. Applying companies will be judged on four criteria including planned investments, the number of jobs created in the province, the total payroll of direct jobs, and heat recovery plans for the energy-intensive computing process.
Hydro-Quebec says in its release, these new rules will enable it to protect the low rates it offers to customers.
Keeping the Rates Cheap as Demand Grows
During the bear market, Canada has emerged as the leading crypto nation based on its low energy costs, innovation, favorable regulatory regime, and high internet speed. Back in July, last year, the organization Hydro Quebec revealed that the province had an energy surplus of about 100 terawatt hours over 10 years and offers some of the lowest electricity rates in North America that saw surging demand.
According to a survey of potential clients by Hydro-Quebec, there’s still demand for thousands of megawatts, even after the price of leading cryptocurrency Bitcoin went down last year, said Jonathan Cote, a spokesman for state utility Hydro Quebec in an interview.
“We don’t think we will have any trouble attracting projects,” Cote told Reuters.
Hydro Quebec had proposed new rules, in June last year under which blockchain-related companies will be required to bid for electricity.
Recently, Canada’s Ontario town announced that it is running a pilot program that will enable its residents to pay property taxes in BTC that could extend to Ether, Bitcoin Cash, Litecoin, and XRP at a later date.