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A second life for power plants thanks to cryptocurrencies

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Recently, Validus Power, an Ontario company specializing in power generation reliable and durable anytime, anywhere, announced a $ 100M investment in the region.

Its objective: to grapple with old power plants in order to give them a second wind and to offer electricity to energy-intensive technological industries.

It offers to power companies requiring high performance computer systems (HPC), which are used in particular by cryptocurrency factories and cloud services.

Since this is a material that generates a lot of heat, the cold climate of northern Ontario is favorable to it.

Validus Power is already in the process of restarting a power plant using natural gas that had been shut down for several years in North Bay. The energy will be directly and entirely supplied by the infrastructures of Hut 8, a company specializing in the production of cryptocurrencies.

Another similar power plant at Kapuskasing has also been acquired by Validus Power and will be commissioned in the spring. Here too, the company promises to offer energy on site to industries requiring advanced computer systems, without specifying for the moment the type of customer with whom it will be doing business.

Reinvesting in Canada and more particularly in Northern Ontario is obvious, said Todd Shortt, president and CEO of Validus Power, in a press release.

A data center designed for high performance computing with reliable and consistent power adapts well to cold climates.

A quote from Todd Shortt, President and CEO of Validus Power, by press release

The company, which claims to have other similar projects in northern Ontario, refused /TurnedNews.com’s request for an interview.

Cryptocurrency factories in Alberta.

Hut 8 also has facilities in Alberta.

Photo: Hut 8

Towards greener cryptocurrencies?

Cryptocurrencies – like Bitcoin – that will be produced by the North Bay Power Plant are on the rise. But they are also sharply criticized for their immense electricity needs.

One of the most fascinating things about cryptocurrencies is how they are created, says David Decary-Hetu, professor at the School of Criminology at the University of Montreal and specialist in cryptocurrencies.

: but who was going to have the power to create it and how? “,” text “:” The inventor of the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, had to ask himself: but who was going to have the power to create it and how? “}} “>The inventor of the first cryptocurrency, Bitcoin, had to ask himself: but who was going to have the power to create it and how?, he said.

As cryptocurrencies are decentralized currencies, no country and no central bank has the power to print or generate them.

David Decary-Hetu explains that the creator of Bitcoin therefore turned to a system similar to a lottery, allowing anyone to generate cryptocurrency.000$ “,” text “:” It can be extremely profitable when you see that Bitcoin is currently worth around $ 60,000 “}}”>It can be extremely profitable when you see that a Bitcoin is currently worth around $ 60,000, he illustrates.

But to decide who will win this lottery – and therefore who will get Bitcoins – competitors must bet on computational power. In other words, they must invest in very powerful computers capable of solving the immensely complex mathematical problems that the production of Bitcoins requires.

This is where we talk about an ecological footprint. The hundreds of people, if not the millions of people who participate in this lottery are all running their machines at full speed hoping to win this lottery, and it costs electricity.

A quote from David Decary-Hetu, professor at the School of Criminology of the University of Montreal

Globally, Bitcoin, which is also the most popular cryptocurrency in the world, requires more electricity than what Argentina or Norway consumes, according to the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance.

However, several countries still depend on coal to produce electricity, which generates enormous greenhouse gases.

Elon Musk, the big boss of Tesla, also turned away from this cryptocurrency in May for environmental reasons, after briefly accepting it for purchases of his electric vehicles. He claims to be ready to accept Bitcoins again as soon as it uses energy more sustainable.

The industry has often been accused of being a ecological disaster, says David Decary-Hetu. This is why companies are looking for more eco-responsible methods of producing cryptocurrency.

In North Bay, Hut 8 therefore prides itself on undermine eco-responsible Bitcoins. It will benefit from the energy generated by the Validus Power power plant, which runs on natural gas. The establishment will also rely on a geothermal system to be cooled.

The MintGreen company, in the west of the country, even goes so far as to export its heat. The latter tries to use the heat from its computers to heat part of Vancouver.

Jobs for regions in need

Relaunching abandoned power plants and building data centers in cold and remote regions of the province also results in the creation of often unexpected jobs.

In Kapuskasing, Mayor Dave Plourde has his eyes riveted on the jobs that will be generated by restarting the power station bought by Validus Power.

For us, that means around 30 jobs in Kapuskasing. These positions are well paid. If we had more like this it would help us a lot, he said.

It’s really interesting for us.

A quote from Dave Plourde, Mayor of Kapuskasing

The mayor is not worried about how the electricity will be used at the power station.

There are always going to be reviews no matter what. For us, it’s a factory that we did nothing with, and that will create jobs in Kapuskasing.

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