Cryptocurrency mining and its concurrent electrical cost for running the operations have many local communities and environmental groups in a fix. In an eco-friendly attempt to offset the carbon footprint of mining Bitcoin, Soluna, a computing firm plans to build a wind-powered blockchain computing infrastructure in the Sahara Desert.
Blockchain relies on the Proof-of-Work (PoW) consensus mechanism to remain secure and thus from its onset, it has become a menace to the energy sector. Bitcoin mining uses as much energy as Ireland and Austria, according to Digiconomist reports approximately 71 terawatt hours (TWh) per year is utilized in mining. Due to the high energy consumption of the activity, miners are often on the look put for communities where power is cheaper.
Soluna, a computing company that uses renewable energy to power its systems, will develop a 900MW wind farm power plant in Morocco. Accompanied by the company’s private computing facilities to power the blockchain this will be an eco-friendly and sustainable way of mining, according to its press release. The firm aims to achieve a capacity of 36 megawatts by 2020 and within the next five years, it is expected to rise to 900MW.
Soluna intends to bring vertical integrations to the blockchain ecosystem by focusing on renewable energy power plants. The new wind farm in Morocco is expected to be an off-grid operation, and the company wants to integrate with the grid by mid-2019. John Belizaire, CEO of Soluna said:
“Soluna will address the growing demand for energy to power today’s growing blockchain networks, and will create the world’s first “service node,” providing high-density computing for future blockchain networks.”
The profitability of cryptocurrency mining is hinged on the energy costs used for the operation. Looking at the current wave and ever-rising interest in Blockchain, Soluna aims to empower the next wave of technologies and networks with green and renewable energy that matches the “evolving demands” of the ecosystem and is “compliant with the local regulations.”