Bitcoin mining giant eyes coal-fired power in Hunter Valley

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The Bitfury Group

Netherlands-based bitcoin miner, The Bitfury Group, wants to plug into the Redbank coal-fired power station, around 90 kilometres north-west of Newcastle, NSW.

The Bitfury Group is considered to be one of the world’s largest Bitcoin Miners , so it’s no surprise the Forbes Finchtech 50 company is hungry for energy.

The plan has been hatched with ASX-listed IOT Group (ASX:IOT) who, in April, signed an agreement with Hunter Energy to develop a ‘Blockchain Applications Complex’.

The complex is to be established ‘behind the grid’ at the Redbank plant, creating direct access to wholesale power prices.

Bitfury wants to put its powerful servers in the complex, complementing the company’s other datacenter operations in the Republic of Georgia, Iceland, Norway and Canada.

…But it all hinges on one BIG factor – getting the Redbank Power Station up and running again.

Hunter Energy is working to recommission the controversial coal-fired power station after it was shut-down amid financial problems in 2014.

The plant’s environmental credentials were heavily criticised by green groups after it began operating in 1994.

Hunter Energy now wants to fire it back up by Q1, 2019 – this time with blockchain businesses hungry for raw, wholesale megawatts, right on its doorstep.

hunterenergy.com.au
Old tech, meets new tech – Blockchain businesses lining up to tap wholesale coal-fired power. 

Despite Redbank sitting dormant, IOT’s Blockchain Applications Complex is generating a lot of interest according to IOT Group.

The deal announced today would see Bitfury locate servers at the site and enter into a Power Purchase Agreement with IOT for 20 Megawatts of power over a ten-year term at an estimated cost of 11 cents per KWh. 

IOT has also signed term sheets with Abacus Mercantile Pty Ltd and Crypto Mining Australia for supply of approximately 2.5-megawatt load for more than 1000 machines.

Executive Director and Founder of IOT Group Limited Sean Neylon said, “There has been incredible interest from other Crypto Groups which will be signed up over the coming weeks.”

“The establishment of the BAC is enormously beneficial to Australia because it’s bringing a whole new Tech industry to the country.

“Previously the Bitcoin and cryptocurrency miners would not even dream of coming here because the cost of power is too high.

“With The IOT Group taking power from Hunter Energy before it goes on the grid they are able to sell the power to the crypto miners at a less expensive rate than anywhere in Australia,” said Neylon.

The company says its also investigating similar arrangements with renewable energy providers.