'Hundreds' of Crypto Miners Said to Be Descending on Quebec

Hydro-Quebec may charge an industry-specific rate to crypto mining farms to deal with overwhelming demand for Quebec's cheap energy resources.

Feb 16, 2018 at 3:40 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 7:34 a.m. UTC

Canadian electric utility Hydro-Quebec may raise energy rates for crypto businesses due to an influx of requests from miners hoping to take advantage of its cheap rates.

More than 100 crypto mining companies have approached Hydro-Quebec, spokesman Marc-Antoine Pouliot told CTV News Montreal, and a few have already settled in the province. Notably, Pouliot said some farms would consume more than 20x the power required for Montreal's sports and entertainment complex, The Bell Centre.

"One project like that isn't a problem, but now we're talking hundreds," Pouliot was quoted as saying.

As reported by CoinDesk last month, Hydro-Quebec initially sought to attract large tech companies to the province with its low rates, but the cheap energy and cold weather – ideal for keeping mining machines cool – attracted mining companies as well.

Hydro-Quebec has a surplus of energy, which makes miners "interesting clients," according to Pouliot.

However, the demand has caused the company to consider an industry-specific rate change – which in the past has only been realized in the form of discounts – to protect its surplus.

The news comes at a time when some mining hotspots are considering larger measures to manage the farms' energy consumption.

Earlier this week, an Icelandic lawmaker proposed a tax on bitcoin mining companies, citing their lack of a contribution to national tax revenue. The country has extensive geothermal energy resources, and like Quebec, offers a cold climate that mitigates the heat output of mining machines.

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