Mining cryptocurrency is an energy-intensive industry. The main by-product of high-powered computers verifying Bitcoin, Etherum, and or Ripple transactions on the blockchain is an excessive amount of heat that often goes to waste. However, one company is set to heat buildings in the Canadian city of North Vancouver through mining rigs attached to "digital boilers."
Cleantech cryptocurrency miner MintGreen partnered with Lonsdale Energy Corp. to supply heat to buildings in North Vancouver, according to a press release. MintGreen's digital boilers use immersion technology that captures 96% of the heat generated from mining rigs and is fed to water utilities as energy, then distributed to 100 buildings in the downtown district.
"Being partners with MintGreen on this project is very exciting for Lonsdale Energy, in that it's an innovative and cost-competitive project, and it reinforces the journey Lonsdale Energy is on to support the City's ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets," Lonsdale Energy CEO, Karsten Veng, said.
Lonsdale Energy expects to begin supplying heat to the businesses district in 2022 under a long-term contractual agreement. Its arrangement with North Vancouver will prevent 20,000 metric tons of greenhouse gases per megawatt from escaping into the atmosphere.
"The complex issue of climate change requires innovative solutions, and Lonsdale Energy, with the City of North Vancouver, is showing tremendous leadership in environmental stewardship," Colin Sullivan, MintGreen's CEO, said.
The boilers will mine cryptocurrency 365 days a year. The city expects that the pilot program could be an example for other municipalities tackling climate change-related issues.
About 97% of the electricity in British Columbia is through hydroelectric generation. Using the energy multiple times reduces waste.
Using heat from bitcoin mining rigs is not new and has been happening worldwide on a smaller scale. From Russians heating their homes with mining rigs to miners heating greenhouses in Quebec during winters, there have been innovative solutions to repurpose this heat. Now it's being done on a large scale.