Texas will see a surge in Bitcoin mining operations. Its electrical infrastructure will need to be able to handle the industry’s additional power needs of 5,000 megawatts (MW). This is expected to happen by 2023.
Texas’s Bitcoin mining industry currently uses 500-1000 MW of electricity. According to reports, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas(ERCOT), they anticipate that demand will increase fivefold by 2023. They have also planned to add 3,000 to 5,000MW.
The expansion comes as Texas, the Lone Star state, plans to be the home of 20% of all global Bitcoin mining operations. Since the Chinese government banned Bitcoin mining earlier in the year, Texas has been the preferred destination for Bitcoin miners.
China’s clampdown has been capitalized by the state government, making Texas a safe haven for crypto-miners. They can now get a 10-year tax abatement and sales tax credits. Also, they can receive state-sponsored workforce training.
However, some residents of Texas are worried that the current power grid is not capable of being improved. ERCOT’s management and oversight of the state’s electric grid was under scrutiny after blackouts ravaged the region in February 2021 during an extreme cold snap that left 5 million people without power for days.
ERCOT’s Nov. 19 report failed to instill confidence that grid problems were fixed. Amal Ahmed, Texas Observer reporter, tweeted Nov. 22
“The ERCOT seasonal assessment report (basically a forecast) seems to indicate that the agency hasn’t changed its approach to prepare for extremes.
Related: A Singapore tech company claims it recycles 90% of the heat generated by Bitcoin mining
Some miners tried to calm residents’ concerns about the possible drain on resources. Texas Standard reported Oct. 21 that Bitcoin miners had been working with local power suppliers to maintain the grid’s stability.
Several others plan to use fully renewable and alternative energy sources such as natural gas flares, as BTC mining operations become more green.
The Texas state government has not yet made any proposals to address potential problems that could arise from increased electrical demand from crypto miners. According to the Texas Standard, miners may be flexible about shutting down their hardware during peak demand periods or could be charged a premium per hour if they wish to remain on during peak demand periods.