Bitcoin mining is very energy intensive and miners are still looking for new ways to secure enough of the best cheap electricity. They also use, for example, solar panels in the fields, where they also have machines directly located, or their own hydroelectric power plants. Stronghold Digital Mining went even further and bought a power plant in Pennsylvania.
Formerly a fading power plant Scrubgrass works on waste coal. This is the material that remains after coal mining. Waste coal can release environmentally harmful metals, especially during rains. Its disposal in the power plant can thus also have a positive environmental impact. Although it is formed by its combustion CO2, and significantly more than with conventional coal-fired power plants due to poor quality fuel. And during this process, some Bitcoin will be mined.
The power plant was built in the 1990s and used a relatively new circulating fluidized bed technology. Limestone is injected into the combustion process and the ash can then neutralize the acidic environment of the soil on which the waste coal lay. It is thousands of acres of contaminated land.
The power plant has an output of 85 MW and now produces enough energy for about 1,800 miners and is planned for next year Stronghold Digital Mining up to a tenfold increase in performance. According to the report, about 1,700 kWh is needed to extract one Bitcoin and the related transactions. There are a total of about 13 waste coal power plants in the United States, and almost all of them are in Pennsylvania. In addition to Scrubgrass, Stronghold Digital Mining also owns a Panther Creen Plant with a similar output.
At the cost of eliminating the ecological threat in the form of waste coal (many of its piles are still burning), another threat arises – thousands of tons CO2. However, this is a minor evil for the authorities and this type of power plant is usually excluded from the purchase of emission allowances.