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Riot Plans Capacity Extension in Texas as Crypto Mining Bill Passes in New York

Kingsley Alo

Neither the author, Kingsley Alo, nor this website, The Tokenist, provide financial advice. Please consult our website policy prior to making financial decisions.

Riot Blockchain has announced that it has begun a large-scale, 1-gigawatt development in Navarro County, Texas, to extend its Bitcoin mining and hosting capabilities. The industry leader revealed that its planned expansion, the largest among its peers, will occur in several phases.

Riot’s Expansion Will Commence With an Initial 400 MegaWatt Capacity

Riot Blockchain stated that the expansion would start with an initial 400 megawatts (“MW”) capacity on a 265-acre site. The facility will be developed having immersion-cooled computers, with operations scheduled to start in July 2023.

Furthermore, the first phase of its development would comprise land acquisition, site preparation, substation development, transmission construction, and auxiliary structures. Accordingly, the overall cost of this initial phase will be $333 million, invested across the remainder of 2022, 2023, and Q1 2024.

Subsequently, Riot intends to increase its mining capacity by adding another 600 MW, thus increasing its output to 1GW. The future expansion will be facilitated through the 345 kV Navarro switch,  located around 1,250 feet away from the site.

Upon completion, the expansion would take Riot’s capacity to 1.7 GW, establishing it as one of the most significant mining operations globally. This, the company’s CEO, Jason Les, believes would be a testament to Riot’s ability to deliver Bitcoin mining infrastructure to its clients. He revealed this on Twitter,

Additionally, Riot said it would partner with Bitcoin mining energy services company, Priority Power. The agreement will see Priority power take charge of site development management, utility interconnection, power purchase agreements, and power load flexibility. Riot’s CEO Jason Les expressed his excitement about the partnership in his Twitter thread.

Consequently, the development is set to further reinforce the US’ status as the world leader in Bitcoin mining. Following the Chinese mining ban and subsequent crackdown and power challenges in Kazakhstan, the US has become the go-to spot for Bitcoin miners. This has seen America take the lead for Global BTC hash rates, and may not relinquish that position anytime soon.

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New York Cracks Down On Carbon Based Crypto Mining Firms

While Riot continues to expand its operation in Texas, other companies hoping to follow its lead may avoid New York as an operation base. This is due to a recently passed bill that prevents new crypto mining facilities using non-renewable energy sources from establishing themselves in the state.

The new legislation imposes a two-year moratorium on new crypto mining firms that use a carbon-based energy source. It is sponsored by Democrat Anna Kelles, with a corresponding bill now being debated in New York’s Senate. 

Recently, there has been a growing clamor for renewable energy sources to help make Bitcoin mining efficient. This has followed Coinshare’s research that revealed Bitcoin mining operation accounts for 0.08% of CO2 emissions globally. 

However, the crypto industry has vehemently opposed the bill, saying it would severely impact jobs and geopolitical interests. Industry experts feel that miners intending to set up operations in New York may look elsewhere instead. With Riots planned expansion in Texas, other companies may follow suit.

Despite the prohibition of new companies, existing facilities would remain unaffected by the bill. However, another clause makes it illegal to renew current permits for the same firms if the renewal applicant intends to expand their business. 

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Do you think the New York bill will force mining companies to seek alternative options to set up their base of operations? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

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