With miners shutting down or limiting production to support the ecosystem in Texas, bitcoin miners are once again demonstrating how they can play a crucial role in the energy infrastructure.
A winter storm from the Arctic is causing the biggest spike in cold air since the “Big Freeze” in February 2021, and Texas is under a hard freeze warning as a result. Although the arctic blast is not anticipated to last as long as the “Big Freeze,” it will still result in dangerously low temperatures between December 22 and 24. Houston experienced a significant drop in temperature on December 23.
In these conditions, the Texas power grid requires a sufficient capacity to handle the demand from homeowners attempting to stay warm. Large flexible loads are essential to preserving the power supply in the face of extreme weather and constrained grid conditions.
According to Steve Kinard, the Texas Blockchain Council’s Director of Bitcoin Mining Analytics, the state’s Bitcoin (BTC) miners offer this crucial flexibility. He stated in a press release:
“The bitcoin mining industry is the leading source of flexible load in Texas, and Texas leads the nation in developing a market environment in which ERCOT [Electric Reliability Council of Texas] has this valuable tool at its disposal.”
In response to the circumstance, Riot Blockchain declared on December 22 that it would close its Rockdale Facility as a safety measure.
Similar to this, Compass Mining’s Director of Mining Operations, Neil Galloway, alerted users to the impending change in service during the winter storm on December 23. On December 24, he added that all but TX1 of its Texas websites were down.
This week, Core Scientific filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and announced it would suspend operations due to the winter storm.
In a voluntary agreement to scale back 99% of their operations, Genesis Digital Assets and Rhodium, according to a press release from the Texas Blockchain Council. According to the press release, other miners are keeping an eye on the situation and are prepared to scale back their operations if the grid’s supply starts to run low. The ERCOT grid was remaining stable as of this writing despite higher-than-expected demand. However, power companies have urged customers to practice energy efficiency because a second straight night of below-freezing temperatures is forecast.
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