To mine one Bitcoin in Australia costs $9,913 in energy consumption costs. This not only makes mining for Bitcoin an unworthy endeavor, it also sucks the country dry of power and creates a large carbon-footprint. To combat this, an Australian entrepreneur plans to make a 4.5-acre Bitcoin solar-mining farm just for cryptocurrency miners.
The project, set to be completed within 3 to 6 months, is led by solar developer at Hadouken Pty. Ltd. and crypto-supporter, Ben Tan. Ironically, he chose a site 2 km from the coal-mill town of Collie located in the southwest region of the country. Muja, one of Australia’s largest coal refineries, supplies 854 megawatts of electricity to the town, but the cost of production outweighs the supply. An alternative source of electricity has been a much-needed transition.
This need has translated into a quick approval by the Southern Development Assessment Panel for the solar farm. The site plans to house 69,000 panels and 5 inverters able to generate 20 megawatts of solar power. Although a fraction of the capabilities of coal, this has a huge impact on the environmental costs of power production and return of profit.
It also provides cheap power to miners and a data center for the blockchain, making it easier to mine Bitcoin for investment and without large energy loss. Future battery storage units will also aid in accumulating more power to be distributed to miners.
Mining Bitcoin has always been a conundrum because it takes up so much energy; it is not worth mining unless you have the right energy-efficient operation in place. The power needed to complete one Bitcoin transaction is enough to supply 28.79 U.S. homes daily. Also, fear of consuming the world’s power supply within the next three years is a major concern for analysts if alternatives are not implemented.
It makes sense that Australia will provide one of the first green power sources just for mining Bitcoin as it has one of the most expensive electricity costs. Collie’s Bitcoin solar-mining farm is sure to be the first of many as others realize the essential need to find eco-friendly, cheap ways to make Bitcoin mining viable.