Greenidge Generation Earns Profits from Bitcoin Mining Without Wasting the Energy
Greenidge Generation, the natural gas-based power plant in Dresden, New York, led the charge against declining business revenues by establishing a cryptocurrency mining operation at its site.
To oversee its Bitcoin mining process, the company has partnered with the private equity firm Atlas Holdings.
The idea to convert a power plant into a Bitcoin mining facility came to the minds of its CEO Dale Irwin and CFO Tim Rainey in 2018, a year after Atlas Holdings converted it to a natural gas facility after buying it in 2014.
The company was in constant economic distress since March 2011, after facing tough competition from cheaper power sources such as shale natural gas. Due to this, they decided to use excess energy produced on-site to mine Bitcoins for profit, said Rainey.
To learn more about the machines used in crypto mining, they started with a couple of S9 Antminers and Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) rigs in 2018. And after completing a successful pilot test of these machines in May of 2019, they built a data center. Since the start of its mining operation in January 2020, the power plant now operates 8,500 latest generation miners from manufacturers like Bitmain.
The power plant currently uses over 20 megawatts (MW) of power to mine a Bitcoin. Despite the argument that Bitcoin mining is a waste of energy, the company plans to increase its energy consumption to 104MW by 2021.
According to Irwin, with the ongoing Bitcoin mining operation, Greenidge Generation has become a combined power plant-mine enterprise providing both power and cryptocurrency at the same time. Being able to provide energy while crypto mining makes it economically feasible for the company to provide employment opportunities to the locals, suggested Irwin.
Greenidge Generation also benefits from its existing staff, including engineers, electricians, and technicians, who operate and maintain the mining hardware.
Talking about other benefits of crypto mining operations for the company, Greenidge Generation’s director of Blockchain Strategies Kevin Zhang said that it would lure investors to get a chunk of the profitability in both cryptocurrency and energy markets.
Bitcoin mining operation has resulted in the company generating over $500k in additional revenue, revealed Rainey. Rainey believes that mining Bitcoins is a good option for power companies that are struggling with their businesses as it will enable them to generate revenues year-round.