Quebec: State-Owned Energy Provider Halts Crypto Mining Projects

The energy supplier for Quebec, Canada, has temporarily stopped providing power for new digital currency mining projects. Hydro-Quebec claim that the move is to ensure that they can continue to supply the rest of the province with power, as well as exploring other developing industrial sectors.

Hydro-Quebec to Propose Strategy for Blockchain Firms to State’s Energy Regulator

Quebec has seen a massive surge in demand for its super-cheap hydro electricity. Cryptocurrency mining firms have been attracted to the state because it offers the cheapest power rates in all of North America. This is useful to them since mining operations consume vast amounts of electricity.

The demand has caused Hydro-Quebec, the state-owned power supplier, to temporarily stop providing power for new blockchain-based projects. They will also be submitting a strategy to Regie de l’energie, the state’s energy regulator. This is to try to determine which companies will receive power in future.

According to CityA.M., the Canadian energy minister, Pierre Moreau, said:

“The measures announced today represent a responsible, prudent and practical approach to welcome top businesses from the blockchain tech sector …”

He went on to state that the move was taken to allow the company to supply power for other industries as well as making sure that no citizens were left without electricity.

Apparently, there have been hundreds of applications from blockchain businesses to Hydro-Quebec. The publication stated that if all these companies received the power they sought, a massive 24 percent of the company’s entire capacity would be used up by cryptocurrency mining operations.

A spokesperson for Hydro-Quebec stated:

“The blockchain industry is a promising avenue for Hydro-Quebec. Guidelines are nevertheless required to ensure that the development of this industry maximises spin-offs for Quebec without resulting in rate increases for our customers.”

Up until last month, there had been a ban on the sale of electricity to cryptocurrency miners in the State of Quebec. The move was introduced in March, 2018. However, just months later it had been lifted. This was believed to be so that the government wouldn’t be ‘missing the ship’ on the cryptocurrency industry.

However, regulation that lifted the ban did contain a caveat. At peak times, the company would cut off to power to miners when the grid was reaching capacity. The state-owned power company also charges a slightly higher rate for cryptocurrency businesses. Their standard industrial rate is $0.0248 per kilowatt hour. This increases to $0.0394 per kilowatt hour for those companies that will be in some way connected to the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry.

Featured image from Shutterstock.

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