Canadian Electric Utility Hydro Quebec Considers Higher Rates For Bitcoin Miners
Hydro-Quebec said it may consider raising its rates for energy-hogging cryptocurrency miners.
Hydro-Québec is a public utility that manages the generation, transmission, and distribution of electricity in Quebec, Canada. It is a state-owned enterprise based in Montreal. Its residential power rates are among the lowest in North America. Hydro-Québec is the fourth largest hydro-power producer in the world.
Hydro-Quebec spokesman Marc-Antoine Pouliot said that more than 100 crypto mining firms have expressed interest in coming to Quebec to take advantage of the province’s rock-bottom energy prices. The company has a surplus of energy, which makes miners interesting clients. However, the demand has caused Hydro-Quebec to consider an industry-specific rate change to protect its surplus.
In addition to low power rates, Pouliot said the Canadian province is an attractive destination because of its cold weather, which helps to prevent the electronics from overheating. But excess capacity could be threatened if the bulk of the requests materialized.
“Some of the proposed projects are as big as 100 megawatts — more than 20 times what it takes to power Montreal’s Bell Center,” said Pouliot. “One project like that isn’t a problem, but now we’re talking about hundreds.”
A spokesperson for Natural Resources Minister Pierre Moreau confirmed that the matter of raising rates is being discussed, but said no final decision has been made.