Greenidge Generation to convert old coal ash landfill into a new solar farm
Bitcoin mining company Greenidge Generation plans to increase the number of renewable energy sources available in New York.
In an announcement on Thursday, the company announced it would invest the profits from its climate-neutral bitcoin mining operation in Upstate New York to accelerate the closure of an existing forty-year-old coal ash dump in the Finger Lakes area. The company plans to convert the Lockwood Hills site into a solar park that can produce up to 5 MW of electricity.
Jeff Keert, CEO of Greenidge, said the project “is realizing more renewable energy by using the profits from Bitcoin mining to fund the construction of a new solar park on a landfill.” The company said it aims to create high-tech jobs for residents and help local businesses run bitcoin mining cleanly. And now it will also make renewable energy development easier on this old landfill.
The new energy source also appears to be used to increase the capacity of the company’s Bitcoin factory on Lake Seneca, which aims to provide 85 MW of gas-powered bitcoin mining by next year.
In May of this year, Greenidge announced that it was purchasing voluntary carbon offsets from a portfolio of U.S. greenhouse gas reduction projects to create the first fully carbon-neutral bitcoin mining operation of its kind in the United States. At the same time, Greenidge said it is actively considering investing a portion of its mining profits in renewable energy projects in New York.
The mining company said it operates “100% carbon neutral” BTC mines and plans to expand operations in South Carolina this year. By 2025, at least 500 MW of operating capacity should be achieved at several locations.
However, critics of Greenidge Generation, including the Seneca Lake Guardian environmental group, argued that the mining company’s operations are not as environmentally friendly as it appears, claiming that the company relies on natural gas obtained through hydraulic fracturing. Local residents also blamed Greenidge for heating the largest of the Finger Lakes in New York State.