Link Global Faces $7.1M Fine From Alberta Utilities Regulator: Report

The regulator wants Link Global to pay almost $2 million for alleged economic gains from generating electricity and more than $5 million for gains from mining bitcoin.

Oct 4, 2021 at 2:30 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 4, 2021 at 2:43 p.m. UTC

A Vancouver-based data center and power firm could face a $7.1 million fine from the Alberta Utilities Commission (AUC) for setting up two sites in the Canadian province without permission.

  • Link Global set up a site in Sturgeon County using dormant natural gas without notifying the AUC, according to a CBC report Friday.
  • A second site at Kirkwall didn’t meet AUC rules on proving the plant had no adverse effects on locals or the environment.
  • The plant at Sturgeon County has relocated while Link Global has filed paperwork for the Kirkwall plant to resume operations, CBC reported. The two plants operated without approval for 364 days and 426 days, respectively.
  • The AUC published its findings against Link Global on Aug. 19, concluding that “Link Global failed to meet and continues not to meet the applicable conditions for an exemption from the requirement to obtain permission to operate a power plant.”
  • The commission’s enforcement team proposed that Link Global pays nearly $2 million for alleged economic gains from generating electricity and more than $5 million for gains from mining bitcoin.
  • Such a fine would be only the second time it has handed out a disgorgement penalty, the AUC has said.
  • In response to the proposal, Link Global CEO Stephen Jenkins issued a statement, saying the company had “made some mistakes” but that the proposals by the AUC are disproportionate.
  • “What enforcement staff is proposing is punitive and not consistent with the AUC’s August 19, 2021 decision and earlier operating requirements during the process,” he added.

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Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.