South Australia has launched its first solar-powered crypto mining centre at the ‘Steel City’ of Whyalla in South Australia, advancing Australia’s move towards a greener imprint on the blockchain
Operated by the Lumos Digital Mining company, the five-megawatt (MW) facility will be mining bitcoin, an energy-hungry crypto-currency which has been facing strong criticism for its resource-intensive mining methodology.
State Minister for Trade and Investment Nick Champion said the fact that the plant could run off solar power showed that bitcoin generation could be more environmentally friendly.
“This is important for decarbonising blockchain, which is a very energy-intensive industry,” he said.
What’s more, Lumos plans to launch a second 10MW mining facility in Whyalla by deploying the latest hydro cooling technologies later in the year, making the mining operation more efficient and environmentally friendly.
SA’s first solar digital mining centre – which uses renewable power to provide computing power to the blockchain network – is now up and running in Whyalla.
— Nick Champion (@NickChampionMP) September 15, 2022
“Sustainable energy resources”
Commenting on the launch of the new mining centre, Lumos CEO Dong Wang said: “We aim to build the most prominent renewable digital mining business in Australia by utilising thriving sustainable energy resources.”
“There is a rapid growth in demand for digital mining in Europe and the USA.
“We came to South Australia because it has traditionally been a strong adopter of new technologies and digital innovation and the state is rich in renewable energy generation.”
South Australia’s first solar digital mining centre is up and running in Whyalla. ☀️
Operated by Lumos Digital Mining, the 5MW data centre utilises renewable power to provide computing power to the blockchain network.
— Department for Trade & Investment, South Australia (@TISouthAust) September 20, 2022
Energy hungry process
A recent White House Office of Science and Technology Policy report showed that US crypto production alone represented as much as 0.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
With so many computers working to solve the complex blockchain equations, Bitcoin’s energy consumption has been growing concern for Australia.
In the wake of COP26 and the global energy revolution, it’s not just energy consumption under the microscope.
Lumos representative Angelo Kondylas said the facility could produce about 100 bitcoins a year, depending on power availability.
However, Kondylas also said the company could potentially onsell generated power to others who wanted to take advantage of blockchain technology.
While the site was primarily solar powered, Kondylas said it could ramp up production to draw more power from the grid on the days when electricity generation was high.