New Zealand: Renewable energy and Grid Share's bitcoin mining data center

May 10, 2022 | Posted by MadalineDunn

Grid Share has announced that it plans to launch a bitcoin mining data center in New Zealand's south island. The facility will be built next to a hydroelectric dam, the Pioneer Energy-owned Monowai Power Station, with whom Grid Share has partnered to supply energy. The 2MW facility will utilize up to 30% of the power station's electricity, and a total of $2 million in capital has been raised for the data center.

Grid Share is an energy startup, and interestingly, all three founders: Tom Algie, Sam Kivi, and Craig Lusty, have backgrounds in renewable energy. Speaking about the company's partnership with Pioneer CEO Tom Algie, said it is a "step towards supporting the transition to 100 percent renewable energy in New Zealand".  Adding: "Renewable energy production doesn't match demand – we can't tell the wind to blow so we can turn on the lights. This mismatch causes volatile energy markets and stalls renewable investment [which is] a growing issue as renewables increase. Renewables need a customer who can buy power when the grid doesn't need it and turn off during peak periods." 

Meanwhile, Pioneer Energy contracting general manager Peter McClean commented: "The data center is something that can use power close to the source because it has the ability to be turned off quickly if the power station isn't generating, or needs to be cut back. So that's what makes it different, that's the driver for us."

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