Bitcoin mining company Greenidge Generation is planning to increase the number of renewable energy sources available for use in New York.
In a Thursday announcement, Greenidge said it would be using the profits from its Bitcoin (BTC) miners in the Finger Lakes region of New York state to expedite the closure of a nearby coal ash landfill. The company plans to transform the Lockwood Hills site into a solar farm capable of generating 5 megawatts of power.
Greenidge CEO Jeff Kirt said the project was “making more renewable energy a reality by leveraging Bitcoin mining profits to fund the creation of a new solar farm at a landfill site.” According to the firm, it aims to create high-tech jobs for residents and support local businesses with the solar farm.
The new energy source could also seemingly be used to augment the power of the company’s Bitcoin plant operations on Seneca Lake, which aims to dedicate 85 MW to crypto mining by next year. The plant had previously been powered by coal but now reportedly uses natural gas.
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The mining firm said it operates “100% carbon-neutral” BTC mining facilities, with plans to expand to South Carolina as early as this year. Greenidge aims to achieve an operational capacity of at least 500 MW across multiple locations by 2025.
However, critics of Greenidge — including the environmental group Seneca Lake Guardian — have claimed that the mining firm’s operations are not as environmentally friendly as they appear, saying the company is relying on natural gas produced from fracking. Local residents have also accused Greenidge of being responsible for rising temperatures in Seneca Lake by claiming it discharged overheated water.