A solar-powered Bitcoin (BTC) mining facility has started operations in South Australia to become the first center of its kind in the region.
The plant operated by Lumos Digital Mining provides about five megawatts of electricity for the activity in an effort to reduce the carbon footprint of Bitcoin, ABC News Australia announced September 16.
Angelo Kondylas, an official at Lumos Digital Mining, said the center has the potential to mine at least 100 Bitcoin per year, but the amount depends on the availability of electricity.
He noted that the company could, at some point, draw electricity from the main grid if it needed to increase production. The company, located in the industrial town of Whyalla, also plans to guide other entities interested in harnessing solar energy to get involved in Bitcoin mining.
“The power generators can spend $10 million because they have to shut down that day because there’s too much on the system. We are basically like a sponge; we absorb the excess that is not used,” Kondylas said.
Decarbonize the blockchain
Elsewhere, Nick Champion, the Minister of State for Trade and Investment, noted that harnessing solar power will help decarbonise blockchain amid increased demand.
Notably, Bitcoin mining has come under fire for the asset’s power consumption at a time when different jurisdictions are striving to address climate change.
In response to the backlash, more mining operators are taking advantage of renewable energy sources to mine the asset. For example, Aspen Creek Digital has also launched solar-powered Bitcoin mining operations in the western part of Colorado.
Fight against climate change
In this line, the White House recently warned that the production of cryptocurrencies could derail efforts to combat climate change. A report from the White House said action needs to be taken to address the issue, although no proposed rules were shared.
“Depending on the energy intensity of the technology used, crypto assets could impede broader efforts to achieve net-zero carbon pollution, consistent with U.S. climate commitments and goals,” a House official said. White.
The latest concerns about Bitcoin’s energy consumption are part of President Joe Biden’s executive order that directed federal agencies to study cryptocurrency development.
Therefore, on September 16, the White House released its first-ever Crypto Lobbying Framework for More Control and Other Cryptocurrency Laws.