A municipal utility provider in New York got the green light from state regulators to create a new set of electricity rates for cryptocurrency miners.
The move by the The New York State Public Service Commission was announced Thursday, allowing the Massena Electric Department to "allow high-density load customers, such as cryptocurrency companies, to qualify for service under an individual service agreement."
While primarily an administrative move, it's a potentially significant development for cryptocurrency miners hoping to tap the hydroelectrical resources located in New York.
A senior official for the commission said that the decision was based on a desire to balance the need to charge "fair" rates while also attracting business to the region.
Commission chairman John Rhodes said in a statement:
"We must ensure that business customers pay a fair price for the electricity that they consume. However, given the abundance of low-cost electricity in upstate New York, there is an opportunity to serve the needs of existing customers and to encourage economic development in the region."
The newly approved rule will allow any electricity customers with a maximum demand of electricity over 300 kilowatt-hours to qualify for service under a negotiated contract. The contracts will be reviewed by Massena's municipal utility and must "protect existing customers from increased supply costs resulting from the new service."
Thursday's move wasn't the first of its kind out of the Commission – earlier this year, the body approved a bid to levy miners with higher rates in the form of a new tariff.
The decision came in response to a petition filed by the New York Municipal Power Agency (NYMPA), which expressed concern that local residents may experience higher rates due to the higher-than-average consumption rates of miners.
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