Crypto miners face energy refusal, restriction in Canadian provinces

Manitoba, a Canadian province, has prolonged its ban on new applications to Manitoba Hydro for electricity supply to cryptocurrency businesses. BC, another province, implemented a similar halt but opted for a more stringent solution instead.

In simpler terms, the Manitoba pause extension affects new applications from crypto miners as well as those seeking electrical services that haven’t led to infrastructure construction agreements yet.

Starting from November 2022, the crypto-mining electrical connections have been put on hold by the provincial government for a duration of approximately 4 and a half years. The halt will extend until April 30, 2026. During this time, the province intends to devise a permanent approach to address the situation, as communicated in an official statement.

“Manitoba Hydro continues to expect unprecedented demand for electricity from new or expanding cryptocurrency operations. That demand has the potential to drastically increase our total electrical load.”

In the year 2022, the CEO of Manitoba Hydro, Jay Grewal, stated that if they had connected all the cryptocurrency operators who had expressed interest in the previous 16 months, the electrical load would have increased by an additional 4,600 megawatts. At that time, Manitoba Hydro’s total capacity was 6,100 megawatts.

Crypto miners face energy refusal, restriction in Canadian provinces

In November 2022, Hydro-Québec suggested a temporary halt in supplying electricity to cryptocurrency operations. On the other hand, New Brunswick enacted a ban on providing electricity to newly established cryptocurrency businesses starting from November 2023.

Starting from December 2022, British Columbia made a decision to halt new connections for crypto mining projects for the next 18 months. Approximately 21 ongoing projects were affected by this announcement. On April 11, the BC government disclosed that they had proposed modifications to their Utilities Commission Act in order to control the provision of electricity to cryptocurrency miners. Provincial Energy Minister Josie Osborne expressed: “We’ve amended our Utilities Commission Act to regulate electricity services for cryptocurrency miners.”

“We’re working with BC Hydro to ensure we have the electricity we need […] and that includes regulating electricity service for energy-intensive cryptocurrency miners that create very few local jobs.”

With the new amendments, the BC government will gain the authority to limit, control, or oversee cryptocurrency mining services. Notably, British Columbia boasts some of the most affordable commercial and industrial electricity rates in North America.

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2024-04-23 00:46