The city of North Vancouver could become the first city in the world to use bitcoin mining for heating.
City-owned Lonsdale Energy Corporation said this month it had struck a deal with a cleantech crypto mining company, MintGreen, to use recovered heat electricity from bitcoin mining to heat the city.
MintGreen, the utility explains, uses digital boilers to recover more than 96 percent of the electricity that goes into cryptocurrency mining “in the form of heat energy that can be used to sustainably heat communities and service industrial processes.”
The new heating source will be introduced next year and, Lonsdale Energy Corporation says, it will prevent the emission of more than 20,000 tons of greenhouse gases per megawatt compared with natural gas.
“The complex issue of climate change requires innovative solutions, and LEC, with the City of North Vancouver, is showing tremendous leadership in environmental stewardship,” said MintGreen’s chief executive Colin Sullivan.
“Being partners with MintGreen on this project is very exciting for LEC, in that it’s an innovative and cost competitive project, and it reinforces the journey LEC is on to support the City’s ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets,” said the CEO of Lonsdale Energy Corporation, Karsten Veng.
Cryptocurrency mining drew attention earlier this year for its carbon footprint, which turned out to be quite considerable. This has led to a debate about so-called green cryptocurrencies, which are mined using electricity generated from renewable sources.
In the case of North Vancouver, the deal between Lonsdale Energy Corporation and MintGreen will use energy generated predominantly from hydropower, which accounts for 70 percent of BC Hydro’s energy mix.
“Using that energy twice both eliminates waste and makes this project one of the greenest in the space,” Lonsdale Energy Corporation noted in its news release. If the pilot project is successful, it could be later scaled up.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com