Washington Utility Stops Accepting Applications for Crypto Mining

A customer-owned utilities company in rural Washington has stopped accepting applications for electricity from crypto mining and similar blockchain operations, the Seattle Times reported July 30.

The Franklin Public Utility District commissioners (PUD) have approved a moratorium that will allow time for staff to investigate the impact of cryptocurrency mining on the electrical system before accepting applications. The PUD staff will also consider a new rate structure.

While initially drawn to rural Washington and New York by cheap electricity, miners are increasingly falling under the scrutiny of local regulators and power utilities, who are concerned about long term power supply for residents and other businesses.

In April, another rural Washington public utility, Chelan PUD, ordered staff to enforce a moratorium on crypto mining with the discovery of unauthorized mining activities, becoming concerned with the state and safety of electricity systems. The enforcement measures included fines and penalties, disconnecting service, “reporting unauthorized loads to law enforcement as power theft”, and “firing officials to protect public safety.” […]

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