23 Mar 2022
What’s all the buzz around Crypto Mining? This term has become a norm in conversations surrounding banking, economic development, cybersecurity, and digital platforms, to name a few, and a heavy topic of discussions among ECG Members. It has caused a bit of skepticism surrounding the risks involved; however, for others, it has become a breath of fresh air to economic disparity in rural communities with untapped community development opportunities.
As crypto-mining inquiries heightened from utilities, ECG became very familiar and skilled in assisting its members with screening service requests and educating utility professionals on negotiating specific terms to lessen the risks. Risks associated with the inadequacies of power supply, cost, distribution investment, and substation capacity, not to mention the fear of stranded resources.
December 2021, ECG held its Annual Meeting, with an outlined topic: “Cryptocurrency: Lessons Learned & What You Need to Know.” A panel facilitated by Walter West, ECG, SVP & COO, a panelist of ECG Members, Jerry deBin, City Manager, City of Washington, and David Hamilton, City Manager, City of LaFayette. Jerry and David shared their experiences and lessons learned in lessening the risks associated with their current Cryptocurrency customers, what’s negotiable and what’s not. They both spoke on the guidance and services provided by ECG to assist them in safeguarding their utility and community with non-negotiable terms and processes that have fared very well. These communities and several other ECG communities share similar success stories of crypto mining companies operating in their communities with zero to a minimum financial contribution from the utility.
The News Reporter, a weekly newspaper in Washington, GA, published an article on May 12, 2021, by Washington’s Mayor, Bill deGolian. In the article, Bill asked Chris Bissell, Co-founder and CEO of WAHA Technologies, “How did you decide on Washington Wilkes to base your business?” Chris responded by stating, “We worked with Electric Cities of Georgia to find us a Georgia city where there was stranded/excess available power, due to the nature of our business. We wanted power that was predominately sourced with a zero-carbon footprint, which we’re proud to be at ~80% zcf, striving for 100%. We needed property to be available for purchase and most importantly wanted to work in a city where we were wanted and where they would support our type of business.“
ECG’s Office of Economic & Community Development has worked with a number of cryptocurrency miners to identify suitable land in our member communities. Being a resource of affordable power, vacant land, and a welcoming community has proven to be a successful combination in attracting crypto mining operations. As discussed in the WAHA Technologies video, new investment and new jobs were created in a community that has seen several jobs and opportunities disappear with plant closings and industry changes. Providing a winning solution for Georgia’s Energy Cities and the state of Georgia remains at the forefront of our economic and community development efforts.
ECG works closely with its members and prospects to assure the best deliverable solution for the community. If your utility has been approached or you have questions regarding crypto mining please feel free to contact ECG Engineering & Energy Services for consultation.