Canada’s Solar Alliance Plans Bitcoin Mining Operations, Spokesperson William Shatner Still New to It

Vancouver-based renewable energy producer Solar Alliance wants to start a Bitcoin mining facility in an abandoned factory it bought in the US state of Illinois.

Solar Alliance, a Canadian company focused on solar and alternative energy projects, recently announced its intention to start Bitcoin mining activities in a former factory in southern Illinois, US. The Vancouver-based enterprise is currently represented by William Shatner, the Canadian actor famous for playing Captain Kirk in iconic TV series Star Trek.

Shatner told the press about his first reactions to the Bitcoin phenomenon:

“The concept is so, I guess the word is bizarre. You have to blank your mind and say, ‘What is blockchain, again? How does mining operate, again?’ The concepts are really strange, and yet when you begin to grasp it, it makes sense.”

Shatner became the spokesperson for Solar Alliance after the company installed the solar panels on his home in California. He said he might want to have a look at the mining operation once it gets launched.

“I’m in Chicago a lot, and I live in Kentucky part of the time. I might very well do that. It’s an interesting idea to see it at work because … it’s so esoteric that it’s difficult to understand,” he stated.

Solar Alliance CEO Jason Bak bet for the abandoned factory in Illinois because state laws require that utility companies use renewable energy, which suits Solar’s business. The company got a 165,000 sq ft facility that was a label-making factory until 2004. Bak plans to create an enormous solar array on the 14-acre parcel and to lease the space inside the building to cryptocurrency mining firms, with some room reserved for a training center on panel installation.

Bak acquired the abandoned factory from Will Stephens, the mayor of Murphysboro. This town of 8,000 people needs some economic stimulus. Stephens said there are some microbreweries and tourist companies, but the town has still experienced waves of job losses.

Even though Shatner lacks in-depth knowledge on how the mining process works, he is aware of the magnitude of the current phenomenon:

“Blockchain technologies, and cryptocurrencies specifically, are at the cutting edge of a new distributed technology infrastructure. As an advocate for solar energy I was intrigued by the potential for it to power cryptocurrency mining operations. […] Cryptocurrencies can help prevent fraud, speed payment settlement, reduce identity theft and provide global access to capital,” he said.

Interestingly, at the beginning of the year, the Illinois House of Representative approved the creation of a subcommittee to do research into blockchain use cases within the government.