Electric utilities provider Ameren Corporation announced on Monday that it has successfully mined more than 20 Bitcoin (BTC) using excess energy generated by one of its coal-fired power plants – the Sioux Energy Center in West Alton, Missouri. .
While the company set up the data center used to mine the coins in April, it did not publicly announce the addition until Monday. Its half-megawatt mining facility harnesses the 972 MW generating capacity of the Sioux Energy Energy Center to carry out necessary proof-of-work-based mining activities.
Ameren’s objectives in initiating the operation appear to have been to halt the decline in power generation at the plant and provide the company with a new source of income. When mining began in April, the power plant was allegedly only operating at 17% of full capacity.
Following this announcement, the company’s environmental impact was quickly questioned. In February, an alliance of three environmental groups – the Waterkeeper Alliance, the Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper and the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center – announced plans to file a lawsuit against the company for violating the Federal Clean Water Act.
“They (Ameren) have responded and we are weighing our options,” said Bruce Morris, lawyer at the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center.
The Sioux Energy Complex, located on farmland near the banks of the Mississippi, is said to store more than 3 million tonnes of coal ash in an unpaved storage pit. Environmental groups have urged the management of the Sioux Energy Complex to remove the coal ash storage pit in the past, but with seemingly limited results.
Ashtracker, the energy pollution data reporting site for the Energy Integrity Project, also said that of the 29 water monitoring wells surrounding the plant, 15 are polluted above federal advisory levels for the molybdenum, boron, sulfate, lithium and cobalt.
Although the utility completed a $ 600 million plan that upgraded the plant with the latest environmental checks in 2010, the Ameren mining operation seems to go against most views. panel on how space companies should approach their environmental footprint. Everyone from Elon Musk to crypto derivatives trading platform BitMEX is committed to doing their part to make mining a less resource and energy intensive business. Sam Tabar, chief strategy officer for Bitcoin miner BitDigital, said using carbon-neutral energy sources is integral to improving sustainable practices and mitigating the industry’s environmental impact. .