Sustainable Bitcoin Mining | Microgrids | CleanSpark Energy Management CleanSpark to Apply Microgrid Technologies to Bitcoin Mining and Data Center Operations - CleanSpark
  Back

CleanSpark to Apply Microgrid Technologies to Bitcoin Mining and Data Center Operations

April 29, 2021

CleanSpark is on a mission to mine Bitcoin in a responsible way utilizing clean energy and at the lowest energy cost possible. To achieve that vision, CleanSpark intends to employ our microgrid technologies and our mPulse controls platform at Bitcoin mining facilities. We took the first step towards that vision with the December 2020 acquisition of a data center.

Why Bitcoin Mining?

Both the popularity and the value of cryptocurrency is continually increasing and is expected to grow for the foreseeable future. Over the past 10 years, cryptocurrencies have seen exceptional returns even after volatility and continue to prove their resiliency. This is partly due to institutional investors’ support of Bitcoin’s long-term value and a notable amount of adoption as significant publicly-traded companies including Tesla, MicroStrategy, Square, PayPal and many more have added Bitcoin to their operational strategy or balance sheets.

Like all currencies, Bitcoin can be acquired, but Bitcoin can also be mined. The operation is much easier to understand than it may seem. Bitcoin mining is simply the means of getting compensated to process data (on the blockchain). Bitcoin Miners are awarded Bitcoin as payment for completing blocks of verified transactions to be added to the blockchain. However, mining takes a massive amount of energy; currently bitcoin mining is expected to account for approximately 0.64% of the world’s energy consumption. According to Facts & Factors, the cryptocurrency market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30 percent by 2026, energy usage for mining bitcoin will increase in conjunction with that growth.

Source: DIGICONOMIST

Why would a Clean Energy Company Start Bitcoin mining?

Because it’s a big problem to try and solve, and big problems create big opportunities.

The massive amount of electricity required for the Bitcoin validation process is usually generated by fossil fuels resulting in a growing carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining. According to the Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index, executing a single Bitcoin transaction requires the same amount of energy that the average US Home consumes over a three-week period. (Source: https://digiconomist.net/bitcoin-energy-consumption/

CleanSpark’s microgrid technologies can provide sustainable, affordable, and renewable energy solutions to support Bitcoin mining data centers. We expect to demonstrate these concepts at our data center facilities located in Atlanta, Georgia.  

Be a Good Corporate Citizen: Reducing the Carbon Footprint of Bitcoin Mining

Throughout the Bitcoin mining industry, there is already a movement for miners to power their operation using renewable energy sources, with a focus on reducing the carbon footprint of mining. When the power sources are from surplus sources it can also help offset grid imbalances for utilities.

Certain factors within the industry are driving this shift:

  • Availability of hydropower
  • Cost reduction and efficiency of solar
  • Emergence of storage systems
  • Integration of generators
  • Federal actions under Biden Administration

Not only will the economy benefit from reduced emissions from fossil fuels, but it will effectively provide cheaper energy to the consumer.

“In the long run, we can envision Bitcoin miners to increasingly establish their operations near large sources of renewable energy, which also triggers further development of renewable generation resources at the respective sites. Therefore, long-run emissions factors of the Bitcoin network might be lower than the current grid average.” (Source: Shifting load through space–The economics of spatial demand side management using distributed data centers – Fridgen G., Keller R., Thimmel M., Wederhake L. (2017) Energy Policy, 109 , pp. 400-413).

While movement to purchasing renewable energy from the grid for Bitcoin mining is a step in the right direction, we believe that pairing renewable focused purchasing with an onsite microgrid at mining centers to work in conjunction with the grid will prove to be the optimal solution. The advantages of deploying a CleanSpark controlled microgrid at a Bitcoin mining facility may include:

  • Lower utility bills
  • Increased usage of renewable energy
  • Increased resiliency to the mining operation in the event of a grid outage
  • The potential to increase quality of energy harmonics

Benefits of the Fractal Grid Concept

CleanSpark plans to use our new data center facilities as a full-scale demonstration of our microgrid control technology. As part of our design we plan to be demonstrating our patented fractal microgrid concept where multiple microgrids can be linked together to work in concert to achieve the best results.

Energy management systems face complex requirements and CleanSpark’s patented software monitors and optimizes system operations. Our solutions are both modular and technology agnostic which enables incorporation of legacy assets and new technologies over time.

Our Competitive Advantage

ATL Data Centers and CleanBlok are wholly owned CleanSpark subsidiaries that provide customers with traditional on-site and cloud-based data center services in addition to operating our own a fleet of Bitcoin miners currently producing between 1.7-2.0 bitcoins a day.

CleanSpark plans to apply its energy technologies to these divisions with a goal of mining bitcoins at the lowest energy prices in the United States.

For more information, visit www.cleanspark.com