While Texas is facing an extreme heatwave, the state’s electric grid can not meet the energy demand. Residents were asked by authorities to cut down on the consumption of electricity. The crypto mining industry has responded by shuttering operations to prevent potential blackouts.
The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) manages 90% of Texas’s electricity load. On Sunday, the agency addressed residents and businesses, asking them to conserve electricity due to “record high electric demand” expected on Monday. The agency predicts that electricity demand in Texas will peak at 79,671 megawatts, slightly below the available 80,083 megawatts.
Demand for electricity in Texas increased partly due to extreme heat, reaching up to 110° F (43°C), forcing the residents to run air conditioners.
“The heat wave that has settled on Texas and much of the central United States is driving increased electric use. While solar power is generally reaching near-full generation capacity, wind generation is currently generating significantly less than what it historically generated in this time period,” wrote ERCOT in a statement.
The agency fears facing a shortage in energy reserves on Monday. However, they claim it does not expect systemwide outages. This was the second request to conserve energy this year.
Crypto Miners Shut Down Operations
As reported by Bloomberg, almost all large Bitcoin miners have shut or powered down mining operations in Texas to reduce the impact on the electric grid. On Monday, Core Scientific Inc tweeted that they powered down ASIC servers in the state until further notice. Other major crypto mines, Riot Blockchain and Argo Blockchain, reportedly reduced their operational capacity.
To provide relief to people in Texas, ALL of Core Scientific ASIC servers located in the state have been powered down. Core Scientific’s ASIC servers in Texas comprise less than 15% of our footprint, and will remain powered down until further notice.
— Core Scientific (@Core_Scientific) July 11, 2022
President of Texas Blockchain Association, Lee Bratcher, told Bloomberg that over 1,000 megawatts in mining load have already responded to the state’s request.
“This represents nearly all industrial scale Bitcoin mining load in Texas and allows for over 1% of total grid capacity to be pushed back onto the grid for retail and commercial use,” said Bratcher.
Crypto Mines Face Power Challenges in Texas
Major crypto mines like Riot Blockchain Inc., Argo Blockchain Plc, and Core Scientific Inc flocked to Texas because of its low energy costs and liberal regulations on crypto mining.
However, the mining firms operating in Texas are facing challenges related to power shortages. Since 2021, miners had faced similar challenges during the winter months, when the electric grid was shut down due to low temperatures.
In February, Riot Blockchain reportedly shut down 99% of its operations before a possible winter storm and high electricity demand.
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