Cryptocurrency Miners in Washington’s Chelan PUD See Hiked Electricity Fees
Cryptocurrency miners have been establishing mining operations in Chelan County, Washington. The country, seizing the opportunity, is considering increasing the price of electricity for the miners. Central Washington Radio Station discussed the issue, stating that the Public Utility District (PUD) in the community recently proposed a new rate structure specific to cryptocurrency activities. The new structure would address the boost in demand for electricity.
Lindsey Mohns, of the PUD commented to the radio station,
“This rate structure is built the same way as the existing rate structure that cryptocurrency miners are paying right now. What this new rate structure doses is bring into it a market consideration on the energy price because we will have to purchase power on the market to serve the variable load associated with cryptocurrency.”
Another PUD employee, Kimberlee Craig, also discussed the issue and stated that the county is looking to capture the cost of the boost in demand and it also wants to protect the expenses of customers who have invested in the utility. One of the main expenses is, “the accelerated cost of infrastructure investment in our system.”
The country has already introduced the new rates and of course, crypto investors did not stop themselves from rallying against them. Silicon Orchard’s Denton Meier stated,
“Looking at it in the big picture it’s not just mining but services that can happen around that. We have the opportunity to become a [fintech hub.] With rates that price us out of that ballgame, it’s not that root that we need to then grow those other businesses, so that will happen elsewhere.”
The crypto industry has also posited that the price increase would impact small business owners mainly, especially because large-scale hedge funds have the ability to handle the increase in cost. This is not the first instance where a small-town community has pushed back on mining by boosting costs – it has already occurred in Salamanca and Plattsburgh.