Valley County crypto-mining project sparks community concern

Some Valley County residents are expressing concerns about an upcoming update on Valley County’s planning and zoning program.

The project? A cryptocurrency mining facility. These facilities use computers to create digital currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. This particular project would be built at 219 Ashton Lane in McCall near Jug Mountain.

Some neighbors fear that over time, the effects of the facility will negatively impact the community. They disputed the potential increase in electricity rates. A White House Fact Sheet of these developments shows that it is difficult to determine the quantity of electricity that these installations will need initially, the demand not being known.

“Despite the potential for rapid growth, the future demand for electricity from crypto-asset operations is uncertain. Electricity usage may change as crypto-asset miners scale up or down in response to fluctuations in market value, and as they adopt new equipment and technology,” the brief states. of information.

According to the White House, the annualized electricity consumption of crypto-assets increased by more than 67% from July 2021 to January 2022, then fell by 17% in August 2022.

“The ability of crypto-assets to grow electricity consumption rapidly raises concerns about the rapid increase in electricity consumption and subsequent impacts on consumers and the grid. For example, Texas has become an increasingly attractive location for crypto-asset mining, which uses around 3% of local peak electricity demand. Over the next decade, Texas could see an additional 25 GW of new electricity demand from crypto-asset mining, equivalent to one-third of existing peak electricity demand in Texas. . This increase raises potential challenges for maintaining electricity reliability.

In order to support cryptocurrency mining, the property should add a three-phase power supply.

“The power addition consisted of installing a transformer in conjunction with Idaho Power, ensuring service access that allows for the addition of 1200 amps of three-phase power to the property,” the project description reads. “This access is available via unmarked paths around the building which are kept free of brush, debris and have been chosen to bypass any current foliage and trees. Power lines were then severed from the transformer to the building and ran inside to interior panels and conduits to allow access for mining machinery.

The app stated that to mitigate the fires, there would be several CO2 fire extinguishers on site.

Another problem residents see is the noise these developments produce. The claimant said part of the plan is to build a partial enclosure with three walls and a roof outside the exterior entrance to “redirect sound to the rear of the property.”

“This, coupled with the air filtration vent already in place, will provide adequate noise attenuation,” the app states. “Measurements were taken on the machines and the fan during the stress test and they were measured at ~70dB just next to the exterior window, ~50dB at 20ft away and dropping to background levels near the edges of the property.”

Valley County Planning and Zoning will consider the project at a hearing scheduled for Dec. 8 at 6 p.m.

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