According to reports, Manitoba authorities are temporarily closing the addition of new cryptocurrency mining facilities to the region’s power grid. The Canadian province depends solely on hydroelectric power generation.
Manitoba’s hydroelectric power has attracted several crypto miners across Canada and beyond looking to go green. Also, the province boasts of cheap electricity rates compared to other regions.
However, the province has expressed concerns that demand for power could increase in the coming weeks. As a result, it cannot add more loads to its power grid.
According to officials, the suspension would last for 18 months. However, the current 37 active miners are not affected by the suspension.
The recent stance aims to reduce the number of requests from crypto miners looking to power their new mining facilities. Cameron Friesen, Manitoba’s Finance Minister and the official in charge of Manitoba Hydro, a state-owned firm, said:
“We cannot allow anyone to take whatever amount of power they want. If we are to construct a new dam, it will cost us about $13 billion considering the cost for the transmission line.”
Meanwhile, Quebec is the only other state offering cheap electricity in Canada. Hence, several firms that need high power keep flocking to either province, especially crypto miners.
Furthermore, Friesen disclosed that about 17 new operators had approached relevant authorities requesting 370 megawatts of extra power. This is more than twice the amount of power generated by the Keeyask hydroelectric-producing facility, which did not start operating until 2022.
Crypto Miners Do Not Create Employment Opportunities
Meanwhile, the finance minister brought up another point. The government was concerned that blockchain firms do not create employment opportunities.
According to Friesen, crypto miners consume large amounts of power to run their rigs and stations. However, most of their work is computer-based.
This makes their demand for workers low. Earlier in November, the public utility company, Hydro-Québec in Quebec contacted Régie de l’énergie. Régie de l’énergie is the lead distributor regulator in charge of the distribution of power in the province.
Hydro-Québec asked the regulator to halt energy deployment for blockchain miners in the region. This request could see crypto miners in Quebec moving to other areas if approved.
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