Three Iranian Power Plants Plan to Sell Electricity to Crypto Miners

Three Iranian power plants with enough output to supply half of New York City will begin selling some surplus power to crypto miners.

Sep 21, 2020 at 12:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 14, 2021 at 9:58 a.m. UTC

Three Iranian power plants with enough output to supply half of New York City will soon begin selling surplus electricity to cryptocurrency miners, in a bid to create a new source of revenue.

  • Thermal Power Plant Holding Company (TPPH), which owns and operates plants all across Iran, said crypto miners could now offer to buy electricity from three of its power stations, according to a report from the Tehran Times.
  • “The necessary equipment has been installed in three power plants of Ramin, Neka and Shahid Montazeri, and the auction documents will be uploaded on the SetadIran.ir website in the near future,” said TPPH head Mohsen Tarztalab.
  • Together, the three plants have a combined power output of 5,485 megawatt-hours.
  • Iran recognized crypto mining as a legitimate business activity in July 2019; it's estimated the government issued a 1,000 mining licenses in the first six months of the new regime.
  • While there has been confusion over the policy, Iran's share of global bitcoin mining output has increased to nearly 4% – almost double that in September 2019.
  • Although faced by rising production costs, Iranian power plants have to supply power to the national grid at fixed prices. Tarztalab said selling power to crypto miners would help them remain profitable.
  • TPPH would only sell power generated from turbines that don't supply the national grid, Tarztalab said.
  • Both the Ramin and Neka plants rely on natural gas, which releases roughly half the amount of carbon from other fossil fuels, such as coal; Shahid Montazeri is powered by oil from a nearby refinery.
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