New York state negotiates power costs with crypto miners

12 Jul, 2018
by David Robb
New York state negotiates power costs with crypto miners

The New York State Public Service Commission is in talks with major crypto miners about power costs. It is offering an opportunity to negotiate electricity rates, so that miners can take advantage of the state's supply without affecting prices for other customers.

New York has a huge amount of cheap electricity available, due to the large amount of hydroelectric dams that were built upstate decades ago. Municipal utilities can offer power for just a few pennies per kWh. 

These low costs have recently led to an influx of crypto miners into the region. Local residents were concerned about the affect this would have on their own electricity, as the excessive power use from mining would soak up the power resources and drive up prices. Back in March, an 18 month ban on crypto mining was imposed by the authorities in Plattsburgh, a small upstate NY city.

To avoid these kind of blanket bans, the Public Service Commission is letting municipal utilities negotiate higher rates with crypto miners. It has now approved a new pricing scheme for one upstate utility.

According to Commission Chair John Rhodes, "We must ensure that business customers pay a fair price for the electricity that they consume...However, given the abundance of low-cost electricity in Upstate New York, there is an opportunity to serve the needs of existing customers and to encourage economic development in the region."

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