Quebec Weighs Plan to Sell 500 Megawatts to Crypto Miners

Hydro-Quebec has submitted to the Quebec government the main guidance to select crypto companies to work with.

Jun 25, 2018 at 2:00 a.m. UTC
Updated Sep 13, 2021 at 8:05 a.m. UTC

Quebec's public power utility has submitted plans to the provincial government that could clear the way for Hydro-Quebec to set up a new framework through which to work with cryptocurrency miners.

The plan, if approved, would create a selection process by which Hydro-Quebec will parcel out 500 megawatts worth of power to crypto miners. In a statement last week, the utility said its pitch to the Régie de l'énergie that, if approved, would allow miners to submit bids that Hydro-Quebec would consider based on their ability to create jobs and economic benefits to Quebec.

Hydro-Quebec suggested that it is seeking a speedy solution to the issue – the subject of a moratorium on new approvals issued earlier this month, citing an "unprecedented" level of demand.

The utility also wants to put a cap on the amount of power that crypto-miners can draw during the year, in an effort to free up power for other customers. That concern has been at the heart of many of the disputes seen in North America between crypto miners, local governments and residents.

Hydro-Quebec wrote:

"The economic analysis will favor customers who will be ready to operate their facilities as quickly as possible. In addition, Hydro-Québec could request that these customers decrease their electricity use, for a maximum of 300 hours per year, to allow it to ensure the delivery of electricity to all of its customers, particularly during the winter peak period."

Hydro-Quebec indicated earlier this year that it would not be able to support all of the demand it has seen, according to a document published in March.

Hydroelectricity power station image via Shutterstock

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