Australia is set to become the home of a 44.5-acre, solar-powered Bitcoin and cryptocurrency mining farm. Hadouken Pty Ltd is planning the 20-megawatt solar farm to mine cryptocurrencies in the coal-mining town of Collie in Western Australia’s South West region. The installation is scheduled to be up and running within three to six months, featuring 69,000 modules and five inverters. It will also power a data center.
Crypto-enthusiast, local energy entrepreneur and solar developer of Hadouken, Ben Tan, will lead the installation following a green light from local authorities. The solar farm would take a bite out of one of the biggest gripes about Bitcoin and the rise of cryptocurrencies. Currently, the environmental cost of cryptocurrency mining is huge. Reports show that the Bitcoin network, for example, consumes enough energy to power all of Denmark, home to 5.7 million inhabitants.
As for a single Bitcoin transaction, estimates vary. Some reports indicate that a single transaction hogs enough energy to power 28.79 US households for a day, with the entire Bitcoin network consuming enough energy to power 5,699,560 households in the US or enough energy to power the entire country of Ireland.
So much energy was being consumed by Bitcoin mining in Iceland that a spokesman for energy firm HS Orka fears Bitcoin could drain the country’s total energy supply. And Bitcoin armageddonists say it’s on pace to gobble up the global energy supply by 2020.
Coal-fired power plants compound the problem by producing a carbon footprint for each and every Bitcoin transaction.
Since Australia has some of the highest energy prices in the world, crypto mining operators have natural incentives to go solar.
The solar mining farm announcement by Hadouken follows news that Australia’s Hunter Energy is planning to build a blockchain center that will be housed in a dormant coal power plant near Singleton in the Hunter Region of New South Wales. The move to reopen Redbank Power Station is being called a landmark deal because it will give miners cheap electricity. According to CEO Jim Myatt, the crypto mining operation will consume no more than 20 megawatts – the same capacity of the proposed 100%-solar cryptocurrency mining farm in Collie.