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Businessmen, labor unions, and representatives of other organizations operating in the territory of New York State have called on the authorities to prevent the transformation of fossil fuel power plants into data centers for mining digital currencies.
In their collective letter, environmentalists asked New York Governor Katie Hawkul to conduct an environmental review of mining centers that produce currencies with the Proof-of-Work algorithm. In addition, they are asking to ban the "transformation" of Greenidge and Fortistar North Tonawanda into centers for the extraction of cryptocurrencies.
In the letter, organizations and businessmen noted that Proof-of-Work uses excessive amounts of electricity to power installations that mine digital currencies. As these capacities increase, they can have a devastating impact on nature and prevent the state from achieving its previously set “climate targets” under the Climate Leadership Act.
As evidence of Greenidge's wrongdoing, the authors of the letter cited the words of New York Commissioner Basil Seggos that the aspirations to turn Greenidge into a mining center are contrary to the state's climate laws. Today, Greenidge Generation controls the once-suspended plant on the shores of Lake Seneca, generating 44 megawatts to power 15,300 servers and additional power to the New York City grid.
Those who adhere to pro-cryptocurrency views argue that the plant's actions are for the benefit of the townspeople. Yates County Chairman Douglas Paddock announced the creation of 45 high-paying jobs that Greenidge is able to provide, and also mentioned their significant contribution to the overall development of the region through tax payments and investments in the new industry.
Meanwhile, Greenidge managers revealed at the end of September that they managed to mine 279 Bitcoins in three months. At the current exchange rate on the Huobi exchange, this amount is almost $17 million. For the production of cryptocurrencies, the plant uses 58% of its capacity.
Greenidge managers also noted that their devices are 100% carbon neutral, thanks to the payment of monetary compensation for emissions in the form of projects to capture methane from local landfills and forest conservation programs.
It is not yet known which side in this dispute the governor of the state will take, but we will closely monitor the development of the situation.
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