Senator Steve Daines, a member of the United States Senate, who hails from Montana, has warned that the proposed closure of a coal power generator could adversely affect the fast-rising bitcoin mining activities in the state. According to previous a report, all the four sectors of the Colstrip coal plant located in Rosebud County are scheduled for closure by 2027.
According to the junior Senator, he believed that reliable, low-cost energy which the coal plant provides is a “necessary evil” for Montana to retain and continues at this pace which is considerably appealing to the new bitcoin mining companies operating within this jurisdiction. He further stated during the United States Senate Energy and Natural resources Committee meeting that;
“As the demand for Bitcoin miners increases and supply of cheap, reliable electricity from coal generation decreases, this could pose a threat of the expansion of Bitcoin generation and even greater threat to energy supply and prices for Montana as a whole.”
A Relatively Low Operating Cost
Undeniably, the low energy cost has been a reason why bitcoin mining firms have been attracted to Montana however; the naturally cold temperature of the state is also an underlying factor as such a cold environment will reduce cooling cost. It is exigent to note that some of the most extensive mining facilities in North America are located in Western Montana. This includes Crypto Watt LLC which is known for operating a facility sited at Butte and as an agreement with the Colstrip coal plant for the supply of 64MW energy which earns the firm a space on the list of most prominent users of electricity in Montana.
Montana is not only about Crypto Watt LLC, as there are other crypto-based institutions such as the Bonner bitcoin data center which is categorically one of the world’s largest data center. Also, sometimes last year, the Missoula Economic Partnership, an initiative targeted at cultivating as well as promoting business in the Western Montana City of Missoula, the Bonner facility was speculated to expand to 55,000 mining rigs having started operation with just 12,000 mining rig
Montana’s pro-digital currency good faiths are further evidenced by the fact that its government at the state level is pioneering to offer a grant to a BTC mining activity in the United States. Sometimes in June last year, the Governor of Montana, Steve Bullocks has revealed that out of the $1,124,030 which has been allocated for the cause of economic development grant to assist main street businesses in creating jobs, training of employees and also planning of growth, a staggering amount of $416,000 would be earmarked for the bitcoin miner named Project Spokane. The governor gave a comprehensive explanation to the Project Spokane in a press release, stating that;
“Missoula County received $416,000 of BSTF Job Creation funds to assist Project Spokane, LLC to expand, which will allow the company to create 65 new jobs in Bonner,” said a press release from Bullock’s office. “The BSTF funds will be used for purchase of equipment, machinery, furniture, and software and for wage reimbursement. Project Spokane, LLC is a data center that provides blockchain security services for the bitcoin network.”