Renewable Energy Company Closes $4.3M Capital Round to Convert Landfill Methane Into Bitcoin

Vespene Energy’s first funding round was led by Polychain Capital.

AccessTimeIconAug 9, 2022 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated May 11, 2023 at 5:40 p.m. UTC
10 Years of Decentralizing the Future
May 29-31, 2024 - Austin, TexasThe biggest and most established global event for everything crypto, blockchain and Web3.Register Now

Vespene Energy, a Berkeley, Calif.-based company that converts methane gas released from landfills into power for bitcoin mining, closed a $4.3 million funding round led by blockchain investment firm Polychain Capital and other climate-focused funds.

The company installs efficient micro-turbines on municipal landfills, which convert otherwise wasted methane gas into electricity to power bitcoin-mining data centers, according to a statement.

  • Big Tech Comes to Small Town: A Bitcoin Mining Story in Spur
    Big Tech Comes to Small Town: A Bitcoin Mining Story in Spur
  • What's the Biggest Misconception People Have About Bitcoin Mining?
    What's the Biggest Misconception People Have About Bitcoin Mining?
  • What You Need to Know About the Bitcoin Halving
    What You Need to Know About the Bitcoin Halving
  • Greenpeace Partners With Activist Artist To Highlight Bitcoin’s Climate Impact
    Greenpeace Partners With Activist Artist To Highlight Bitcoin’s Climate Impact
  • According to a U.N. report, methane is a harmful greenhouse gas with a 100-year global warming potential that is 28 times to 34 times greater than carbon dioxide. Citing the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Vespene said that U.S. landfills account for 15% of U.S. methane emissions, but a recent NASA survey indicated that these numbers may be two times to three times higher.

    “Due to the high costs and long lead times associated with building grid-connected landfill energy projects, over 70% of the country’s roughly 2,600 municipal landfills do not have a viable use for the methane they produce,” the company said in the statement.

    Vespene enables landfill owners to turn harmful methane gas, which is a financial and environmental liability, into a potential revenue stream. Vespene, in turn, gets a cheap, renewable energy source for its bitcoin mining data centers.

    “By using wasted methane to power bitcoin mining, Vespene is killing two birds with one stone – mitigating harmful GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions and helping transition Bitcoin mining toward carbon-neutral and carbon-negative energy sources,” the company said in the statement.

    Bitcoin mining technology has shown promise for mitigating some greenhouse emission-related problems, despite outcries by some lawmakers that miners are harming the environment by using too much energy.

    Miners have recently been setting up remote facilities to use otherwise-wasted natural gas to power mining operations. In the process, they have been reducing the amount of methane gas released into the atmosphere.

    Vespene will use the fresh capital to launch its pilot site in California, making it the first company to convert wasted landfill methane into bitcoin, the company said. One Vespene module will take about four to six months to establish. Each module will have a power capacity of about 1.5 megawatts (MW) and eliminate 270,000 metric tons of CO2-equivalent per year, Vespene added.

    The company’s business model also allows landfill owners to participate in a profit-sharing agreement that has a predetermined floor and ceiling. By letting the company set up its facility, landfill owners can capture a certain amount of upside via a profit-sharing arrangement during a bitcoin bull-run.

    Meanwhile, having set limits on how much profit it has to relinquish, Vespene is able to hedge its downside during bearish markets.

    “Our goal is to mitigate a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and help fuel the transition to a renewable energy future by using bitcoin mining to turn landfill methane streams into revenue streams for our customers,” Vespene Energy co-founder and CEO Adam Wright said in the statement.


    Please note that our privacy policy, terms of use, cookies, and do not sell my personal information has been updated.

    CoinDesk is an award-winning media outlet that covers the cryptocurrency industry. Its journalists abide by a strict set of editorial policies. In November 2023, CoinDesk was acquired by the Bullish group, owner of Bullish, a regulated, digital assets exchange. The Bullish group is majority-owned by; both companies have interests in a variety of blockchain and digital asset businesses and significant holdings of digital assets, including bitcoin. CoinDesk operates as an independent subsidiary with an editorial committee to protect journalistic independence. CoinDesk employees, including journalists, may receive options in the Bullish group as part of their compensation.

    Aoyon Ashraf

    Aoyon Ashraf is managing editor with more than a decade of experience in covering equity markets

    Learn more about Consensus 2024, CoinDesk's longest-running and most influential event that brings together all sides of crypto, blockchain and Web3. Head to to register and buy your pass now.