Hydro-Quebec, the largest state-owned utility in Canada, appears unable to meet the electricity demand from cryptocurrency miners seeking to establish operations in the energy-rich province. The announcement comes just weeks after the company sought to entice virtual currency miners as a means to bolster the province’s economic outlook, claiming that it had 5,000 megawatts of power to spare.
Hydro-Quebec Overwhelmed by Electricity Demand From Miners
Hydro-Quebec has indicated that it will not be able to meet the scale of power demanded by cryptocurrency miners, following an apparently overwhelmingly successful campaign designed to attract investment from the mining industry.
Marc-Antoine Pouliot, a spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec, recently stated “We won’t be able to power all the projects that we’re receiving,” attributing the utility’s changed position to overwhelming expressions of interest from mining companies. Mr. Pouliot stated the number of interested parties doubling over the course of the last week, resulting in the utility presently considering 70 potential mining projects. “We are receiving dozens of demands each day. This context is prompting us to clearly define our strategy,” he added.
Feral-Pierssens, who works alongside cryptocurrency miners seeking to establish operations in the province, has indicated that the expressions of interest received by Hydro-Quebec represent only a minority of the demand held within the mining industry, stating “This is the tip of the iceberg, as only a fraction of the initiatives have reached out to Hydro Quebec yet.”
Chinese Regulatory Concerns Drive Mining Companies Overseas
Amidst growing uncertainty regarding the future of mining within China, Eric Martel, the CEO of Hydro-Quebec, recently sought to attract cryptocurrency miners to establish operations in the province. Mr. Martel not only proclaimed the advantages the province could offer to miners – both in terms of access to cheap electricity and inexpensive cooling offered by Quebec’s snowy winters – but emphasized the benefits that could be reaped to the local population, stating that without a dramatic increase in the scale power consumed within the province, citizens could face an “explosion” in electricity tariffs in order to ensure the survival of the apparently struggling utility.
Hydro-Quebec has estimated that the province will produce approximately 100 terawatt-hours worth of power during the next decade – the equivalent of the energy required to power 6,000,000 homes in one year. In addition to cryptocurrency miners, Hydro-Quebec has also sought to entice entrepreneurs seeking to establish data centers in the province – as such are seen to create more job opportunities.
Industry Leaders Eye Quebec
David Vincent, the director of business development at Hydro-Quebec distribution, recently stated that “Of the world’s top five largest blockchain players, we have at least three or four.” Earlier this month, Reuters also reported that Nishant Sharma, a Bitmain spokesman, stated that the company has been in discussions with provincial power authorities regarding a number of potential sites in Quebec – indicating that the world’s largest mining company is among those seeking to establish operations in the Canadian province.
Hydro-Quebec’s Vice President of distribution, Eric Filion, has indicated that some companies have had issues finding sites with existing infrastructure suited to the requirements of industrial-scale mining operations. “We have the energy available,” Mr. Filion recently stated. “It’s a question of finding land and buildings quickly.”
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Author: Samuel Haig