Bitcoin Miners Shut Down Amidst Texas Heatwave
Demand-response programs offer incentives for the Bitcoin mining operations to use less energy during peak-demand periods. July 27, 2022
It’s hot in Texas. How hot? It’s so hot in Texas that Bitcoin miners are being asked to shut down to lessen the pressure on the electricity grid. Many have heeded the call, according to Business Insider, and given back about 1,000 MW of capacity. The Bitcoin mining operations aren’t shutting down out of the goodness of their hearts, however. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) offers demand-response incentives to these operations for using less electricity during peak usage times.
On July 12, the state used a peak demand record of 78 gigawatts. The Texas grid has a peak demand capacity of about 92 gigawatts, according to ERCOT data.
Texas is home to a huge and rapidly growing crypto mining industry. Bitcoin mining is expected to add 27 gigawatts to the Texas grid by 2026, according to the Verge. Seven of the largest Bitcoin miners in the U.S. use as much electricity as all the homes in Houston.
Congressional Democrats have recently launched an investigation into Bitcoin mining operations, who say these operations should be required to disclose their electricity use.
Greg Zimmerman is senior contributing editor for FacilitiesNet.com and Building Operating Management magazine.