Quebec will make electricity prohibitively expensive for cryptocurrency miners until it figures out how to deal with a surge in demand from the energy-hungry industry.
Provincial regulator Regie de l’energie authorized utility Hydro-Quebec to charge 15 cents per kilowatt hour to blockchain companies, about three times the price they have enjoyed up to now. The temporary pricing doesn’t apply to existing clients and their operations, which total about 120 megawatts.
After courting miners in recent months in a bid to soak up surplus energy from dams north of the province, Hydro-Quebec found itself flooded with requests that it says exceed its short- and medium-term capacity. The province, which offers the lowest power rates in North American, wants to set a specific rate for the industry while considering issues such as peak winter demand.
“We don’t want to send a message to the market that this is the price for cryptocurrencies in Quebec,” Hydro-Quebec spokesman Jonathan Cote said on the phone Tuesday…
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