TeraWulf (WULF) has begun operations at its Nautilus Cryptomine facility – the first nuclear-powered bitcoin mining facility in the U.S. – with nearly 8,000 mining rigs online representing computing power, or hashrate, of about 1.0 exahash per seond (EH/s).
The company expects to have about another 8,000 rigs energized in coming weeks, bringing capacity at the Pennsylvania-based Nautilus facility to 1.9 EH/s by May, according to a Monday press release.
Nautilus will significantly lower TeraWulf's energy costs, with the company having secured a power agreement for 2 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) of power for five years, which will bring its average energy cost down to about 4 cents/kWh across its two facilities. That's much lower than the U.S. industrial average of 9 cents/kWh that the Energy Information Administration reported in December 2022, as well as the variable rate TeraWulf pays at its New York site, which averages 5 cents/kWh.
Along with its mining peers, TeraWulf has struggled mightily during the crypto winter as declining bitcoin prices teamed with rising energy costs. The Maryland-based company had to embark on a series of cost-cutting initatives in November and raised $10 million in new capital in December to repay some of its debt. However, both crypto and energy markets have improved somewhat in early 2023, and the mining industry is showing early signs of recovery.
The Nautilus mine is "the first behind-the-meter bitcoin mining facility of its kind, directly sourcing reliable, carbon free, and 24x7 baseload power from the 2.5GW Susquehanna nuclear generation station in Pennsylvania," according to TeraWulf. It is a joint venture with Texas energy producer Talen Energy, in which TeraWulf has a 25% interest.
The company said Monday it expects to reach 5.5 EH/s of computing power by early in the second quarter.
WULF stock is down 2.5% to 64 cents in recent Monday trading.
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