HomeNewsProvincialBC moves to block more power-sucking crypto mining operations

BC moves to block more power-sucking crypto mining operations

BC isn’t interested in building more megaprojects to power private cryptocurrency miners, the energy minister said today [April 11].

Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, says the province is working with BC Hydro to make sure there’s enough electricity infrastructure for BC’s future, “and that includes regulating electricity service for energy-intensive cryptocurrency miners that create very few local jobs.”

BC’s hydroelectric energy supply has made it attractive for crypto mining, which uses arrays of powerful computers running 24-7. In late 2022 the province paused all new crypto hookups — 21 projects were suspended, which would have required more than two Site C projects worth of annual energy.

Earlier this year, the provincial court sided with the province and BC Hydro, tossing out a company’s request to allow more power hookups for crypto companies.

“Devoting such a large proportion of the available electrical power supply to one industry would leave less energy for other uses which might result in increased costs to all other residential and industry customers in BC,” said Justice Michael Tammen in February.

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The province is now proposing changes to the Utilities Commission Act which would strictly regulate, or even prohibit, service for crypto mining operations.

BC Hydro says it’s currently servicing seven crypto mining operations in BC, representing power consumption of 166 megawatts. In comparison, the entire John Hart Dam system in Campbell River, recently rebuilt for nearly $3 billion,  generates about 130 megawatts.

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