Risks & rewards await utilities in light of cryptocurrency power demand

The law of supply & demand unfold quickly in the race for access to energy to power cryptocurrency operations. Across North America, we see it again and again—crypto-mining prospects discover a utility with low rates and excess power capacity. A rush then follows, with hundreds of requests for megawatts of power. But in this case, instead of a price hike in response to increased demand, we see a different outcome—a moratorium, while the suppliers work out a sustainable plan, and cost structure, for the future—then the moratorium lifts, to find that the demand has shifted.

In many cases, with the utilities hold responsibility for (and extend low rates to) their existing customers. If all the requests for crypto-currency power were granted, even at a higher rate, it would quickly exceed the production capacity of the utility.

Stephanie Tsao, Kelly Andrejasich and Andrew Coffman Smith report on how this is playing out across North America in the article “Utilities see risks, rewards in cryptocurrency power demand” for S&P Global Market Intelligence.