North Dakota: More cryptocurrency data centers to head to North Dakota?

Jan 24, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

North Dakota is becoming a hotspot for cryptocurrency miners, with its cold temperatures attracting interest. According to John Weeda, director of the North Dakota Transmission Authority, there's lots of interest from a number of parties. Energy Services Manager Josh Schaffner said the company had been contacted by "close to 10 different groups."

Explaining why ND is so appealing, Weeda said: "One reason data centers like the northern climate is that their energy cost for cooling equipment is a lot less in North Dakota than in Arizona. The atmospheric temperature does a lot for you, especially right now (in winter)."

Talks around potential facilities were discussed at a recent Bismarck City Commission meeting, and Community Development Director Ben Ehreth said they were open to discussion: "We want to give some thought to, if we do allow these types of facilities to occur in our community, where they might most appropriately be located."

Weeda outlined that proposed projects in the state have outlined energy needs ranging from 5 to 500 megawatts, and explained that there was talk about the facilities being located near wind farms due to their intermittent nature, which haven't been looked on as a realistic option. Questions are also being raised about whether there is room on the grid.