Washington Utility Gets Cold Feet for Crypto Mining

The Franklin Public Utility District commissioners decided to stop accepting applications from new crypto miners until they assess the impact of the industry and come up with new prices.

It appears that after the initial enthusiasm for crypto mining facilities, utilities in the state of Washington are getting cold feet, with the Franklin Public Utility District (PUD) putting a moratorium on new applications from miners.

According to a report by The Seattle Times, the commissioners of the Franklin PUD have decided to stop accepting new applications for electricity use from crypto miners. The measure, only temporary for now, will allow time for staff to review the effects of such high-density loads that place a high demand on the electric system. The company will also consider a new rate structure for crypto mining facilities.

The Franklin PUD is not the first to take such measures against the crypto miners who flocked to the northwestern US state, attracted by the cooler climate and the cheap electricity from renewable, mostly hydropower, resources.

This spring the Chelan County PUD board commissioners voted to stop reviewing applications for mining facilities and similar data research projects. The decision was taken after a review of the impact on the electric grid and consumption as well as of the potential risks. Several weeks later the utility company cut off the electricity supply to three “rogue” crypto miners who were posing a risk to public health and were creating fire hazard.

Similarly, north of the border Hydro-Quebec, the province-owned electricity company of the Canadian province Quebec, imposed higher tariffs for the cryptocurrency mining companies who want to set up shop there. The new prices did not affect the miners who were already operating in Quebec. In addition, Hydro-Quebec set rules for the miners, demanding that they create jobs and cut their consumption.

Previously the crypto mining industry, which consumes huge amounts of electricity, was mainly located in different Chinese regions. However, after the Chinese government practically banned such activities, the companies sought greener pastures. They found them in areas with a cool climate and cheap electricity, such as Iceland, Canada, Norway and the northwestern US.