County in Montana Wants to Require Crypto Miners to Contribute to Renewable Energy Source Building


Mining cryptocurrency requires a lot of power. Most of the time, when the discussion of energy use comes up in mining, it is in relation to companies going overseas to seek out cheaper opportunities.

However, one county in Montana wants these miners to be held accountable, giving back to the economy by building renewable energy sources.

Missoula County has not passed any laws yet but reports from local publication Missoulian say that the area is working on determining the public opinion on a new plan. The plan would require miners to abstain from using fossil fuel energy, while also complying with the regulations governing noise and zoning.

Based on the current calculations, the mining operation that is presently held in Bonner could ultimately take up the same amount of electricity as approximately one-third of the Missoula County homes, say county officials.

Luckily, the power for these households are sourced from a hydroelectricity-producing dam that offers renewable energy, it still causes greenhouse gas emissions, according to Diana Maneta. Maneta is the coordinator for energy conservation and sustainability in the county.

Maneta added that, with the purchase of this kind of energy, the miners are basically displacing the customers that would otherwise have access. Since those customers have to see out other sources of energy as a result, the crypto miners end up having an effect on climate change.

The consideration of the new criteria for these mining operations will be seen in the County Courthouse Annex on Thursday at 2:00pm, which will include new zoning regulations regarding the miners.

One of the regulations in question will required that crypto miners make a purchase for their renewable energy that would counteract about 100% of the meter consumption necessary. Miners will have two options – buy into a development for renewable energy that is already being setup or creating a new power source on their own.

The other criteria considered will include the noise level regulations that need to be adhered to, along with the recycling of electronic waste. The former became a concern amongst neighbors to the Bonner facility, as complaints came in saying that the cooling fans were extremely noisy and emitted a loud humming noise.

The issue has since been remedies with quieter fans, but it is clear that Missoula County doesn’t want to repeat this situation. The high energy use of cryptocurrency mining has been the biggest concern, which is why these issues need to be addressed immediately to avoid further issues.

Much of the appeal of hosting crypto mining operations in Montana has been their cheap electricity and cool climate, considering that much of the hardware requires both.

However, the 2016 Missoula County Growth Policy was implemented for the purpose of reducing how much of an impact that the county has on climate change, while fiscally protecting the community with better policies on public health and safety.

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