New York Power Companies Can Now Raise Rates for Bitcoin Miners
The state of New York may be a difficult place to set up a mining venture in the region as lawmakers have ruled that power companies can raise their electricity rates if miners choose to use the state’s hydropower.
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Charging Higher Electricity Rates to Cryptocurrency Companies
The New York State Public Service Commission (PSC) has decided to allow municipal electricity providers the ability to raise rates for bitcoin miners and data centers. The reason NY officials chose to let power companies raise electric rates is because 36 municipal power suppliers petitioned the PSC committee. The power companies believe that when data centers and cryptocurrency miners take advantage of the cheap hydropower in the state, average customers lose out. The PSC ruling on March 15th states:
The New York State Public Service Commission today ruled that upstate municipal power authorities could charge higher electricity rates to cryptocurrency companies that require huge amounts of electricity to conduct business. The ruling was needed to level the playing field and prevent local electricity prices for existing residential and business customers from skyrocketing due to the soaring local demand for electricity.
Cryptocurrency Entities: A Different Character Than Load Characteristics Typically Seen
According to the power companies, several of them have seen an increase in requests from commercial customers seeking large amounts of power. “These requests come mainly from similar types of potential customers: server farms, generally devoted to data processing for cryptocurrencies,” explains the filing.
The ruling goes on to state: “Cryptocurrency entities, such as Bitcoin developers, use massive banks of computers to run a complex software program that will create, or “mine”, digital currency — As some of these customers have come online, it has become clear that the type of electricity load demand was of a different character than load characteristics typically seen by NYMPA members.”
Any Operation That Exceeds 250 kWh Per Square Foot Per Year Will Face Tariffs
The news also follows the town of Plattsburgh New York proposing a moratorium request against bitcoin mining operations last week. News.Bitcoin.com reported on how the Mayor’s office cited concerns about the amount of energy consumption these operations were using. Plattsburgh’s Mayor Colin Read also detailed back in February that he would rather see high electricity consuming businesses pay real employees, rather than warehouses filled with just machines.
The PSC decision can be enforced by the electric providers this month the commission details, and it will allow power companies to create a new tariff on all high-density load operations. Those who exceed 300 kW and a load density that exceeds 250 kWh per square foot per year could see increases in costs next month.
What do you think about the New York State Public Service Commission allowing power companies to raise rates for miners? Let us know what you think in the comments below.
Images via Shutterstock, and the PSC filing and logo.
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