New York Denies Air High quality Allow to a Cryptocurrency Mining Facility, Citing Sabin Heart White Paper

Jacob Elkin
|July 7, 2022

The Greenidge Generation power plant.

The Greenidge Era energy plant in Dresden, NY. Photograph: Brian Kahn

On June 30, the New York Division of Environmental Conservation denied Greenidge Era LLC’s software to resume a Title V air high quality allow for the Greenidge Producing Station. The power, beforehand permitted as a pure gas-fired “peaker” plant, has just lately ramped up its energy technology to offer behind-the-meter energy to Greenidge’s proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining operations.

The denial cites a white paper revealed by Columbia Local weather College’s Sabin Center for Climate Change Law in March 2022. The paper argues that the New York Government Department has the authorized authority to implement a moratorium on the allowing of fossil gasoline energy crops which can be offering behind-the-meter vitality to proof-of-work cryptocurrency miners. Because the paper discusses in additional element, proof-of-work cryptocurrency mining requires significant energy consumption and thus produces giant portions of greenhouse fuel emissions. Researchers have recently estimated that Bitcoin mining is liable for 65.4 megatonnes of carbon dioxide emissions per yr. Different estimates put Bitcoin’s annualized carbon footprint at 72.05 megatonnes of carbon dioxide, comparable with that of Greece, with a single Bitcoin transaction producing 805.77 kilograms of carbon dioxide, equal to the emissions generated by 1,785,864 VISA transactions.

With a view to energy such operations, a trend has arisen of former coal energy crops transitioning to pure fuel technology to ship behind-the-meter energy to mining amenities. Greenidge Era is one such facility, working as a coal-fired energy plant within the 1930’s earlier than ceasing operations in 2011, then receiving a brand new allow to restart operations as a pure gas-fired plant in 2016. When making use of for that 2016 allow, Greenidge indicated that it could function solely to offer energy to the grid in a “peaking” capability, however since 2020, Greenidge has begun using the vitality it produces to energy an on-site cryptocurrency mining operation. On account of this variation in perform, Greenidge’s greenhouse fuel emissions have increased considerably, with Greenidge predicting its emissions will proceed to extend going ahead. Greenidge’s allow renewal software has thus drawn a big quantity of consideration state- and nation-wide.

Read the rest of the article on the Sabin Center website. 

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