Quebec has lots of energy thanks to its hydroelectric dams. Cryptocurrency miners needed lots of cheap energy. Contact us, the Canadian province told the miners. And they did, in droves.
That surplus of miner demands is why the offer has ended.
Instead, under rules proposed by provincial utility Hydro-Quebec, blockchain companies will have to bid for power and list the jobs and investment per megawatt that they will generate, Bloomberg reported Thursday. The starting bid is one Canadian cent ($0.0075) per kilowatt hour above the rate the industry had previously paid, about a 20 percent increase.
Hydro-Quebec sees a way to make money off a great deal of demand, so much demand that the energy requests it received from miners exceeded the utility’s short- and medium-term capacity. So it will charge what Bloomberg calls a “temporary, prohibitive price to halt new requests” until the new rules and rates are in place.
“The goal of this process is to both maximize economic spinoffs for Quebec and revenue for Hydro-Quebec — in turn, pushing electricity rates down for customers,” Canada’s biggest utility said in a statement. The proposal must be approved by regulator Regie de l’energie. Read more here.