Kentucky regulator denies plan for subsidizing crypto mining facility

Kentucky regulator denies plan for subsidizing crypto mining facility

The Public Service Commission of the state of Kentucky has denied a proposed contract that would have allowed a mining firm to receive a discounted rate on electricity provided by the power company.

In an Aug. 28 order, the commission denied a contract between Ebon International and Kentucky Power Company which involved a $50-million investment in a crypto mining facility in the city of Louisa. According to the filing, Ebon planned to run a 100-megawatt (MW) mining operation until 2024, then increase the load to 250 MW.

The details of the proposed contract, which were partially redacted, included Kentucky Power providing Ebon a discounted rate for service over 10 years. The commission announced in December 2022 that it planned to review the deal between Ebon and Kentucky Power.

Environmental groups Earthjustice and Greenpeace lauded the commission’s decision as a victory for average energy consumers in Kentucky. Joshua Archer, the Bitcoin Campaign Lead for Greenpeace USA, claimed incentivizing crypto mining firms to set up shop in the state would have burdened taxpayers and contributed to climate change.

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The state of Kentucky is one of the major Bitcoin (BTC) mining hubs in the United States alongside Texas, Georgia, and New York. Environmental organizations in these areas have pushed for restrictions and bans on crypto mining, resulting in New York signing a Proof-of-Work mining moratorium into law in November 2022 and a bill removing incentives for miners making it through the Texas Senate in April.

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