Brookstone-Backed Soluna to Build Blockchain Computing Facility in Morocco

Private equity firm Brookstone Partners recently created a new entity, called Soluna, which announced on Friday its plans to build a blockchain computing facility in Morocco.

Soluna Technologies, a blockchain-oriented company that generates its own renewable energy, announced on Friday that it was developing a blockchain computing facility in Morocco. The goal is to provide alternative energy resources in a period when cryptocurrency mining has become energy-wasting. To mitigate this, the new startup will have its computing infrastructure powered by its own 900 megawatt (MW) wind energy plant. The New York-based company is planning to build the plant in Morocco, which hosts some of the world’s windiest regions.

Soluna CEO John Belizaire commented:

“Our vision is to power the blockchain with clean, renewable energy that we own and control. Soluna will address the growing demand for energy to power today’s growing blockchain networks, and will create the world’s first “service node,” providing high-density computing for future blockchain networks.”

Soluna was founded earlier in 2018 by private equity company Brookstone Partners, which has $150 million in assets. Now the company is raising funds for the wind plant in Dakhla, Morocco, a territory also claimed by Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), a state that is recognized only partially. The fact that the region is disputed by SADR, backed by Polisario Front movement, represents an issue for Soluna.

Brookstone bought the rights to the property from German company Altus AG. Brookstone, via Soluna, plans to raise funds to build the first 36MW of turbines, which will fuel mining operations and data centers for blockchain transactions. The entire project, which would require several years to build, might reach $3 billion in costs.

According to a Bloomberg analyst, intermittency might also be a difficulty for Soluna, which has to process crypto mining operations and data even when the wind doesn’t blow.

Itamar Orlandi, who leads frontier power analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, commented:

 “The power from the wind farm is intermittent and will probably reduce the utilization factor of the data center as long as it is off-grid.”

“Their revenue from the mining operation will be unpredictable and possibly volatile. It’s not clear to me how they make a 20- to 30-year infrastructure investment backed against that kind of revenue stream,” he added.

Recently, we reported that Canada’s DMG Blockchain Solutions was installing an 85-megawatt plant to support its crypto mining facility, which is to become among the largest one in North America.