Bitcoin miners across Texas are suspending operations as a severe heat wave is expected to push the electricity grid to its limits. Authorities said more than 1,000 megawatts worth of power allocated for crypto mining is being redirected for retail and commercial use.
Industrial-scale Bitcoin mining operations, as per Bloomberg, have turned off their machines in anticipation of a heatwave in Central Texas. As demand for air-conditioning rises, severe strain on the state’s power grid is anticipated. Lee Bratcher, Texas Blockchain Association President, said over 1,000 megawatts worth of Bitcoin mining load were being turned off to respect calls from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) to conserve energy for the grid. He outlined the load represented the quasi-totality of all industrial-scale Bitcoin mining in the south-central region of the United States. Bratcher said the move would allow 1% of the total grid capacity to be rerouted for retail and commercial use. ERCOT in a notice urged the people of Texas and large electric customers to lower their electricity use from 19:00 to 01:00 UTC on Monday. It expects total power demand to surpass 79,000 megawatts.
Texas with its low energy costs and regulatory stance emerged as a crypto-friendly state, particularly attractive to large mining companies. Greg Abbott, Texas Governor, believes inviting more miners to the state could remedy its long unstable grid by incentivizing the creation of more power generation facilities. Texas is home to some of the top miners, including Riot Blockchain, Core Scientific, and Agro Blockchain.