Houston-based tech company Lancium enables Texas’ grid to dial power demand up and down through bitcoin mining.
The Houston-based firm develops software and technology to frictionlessly regulate bitcoin mining operations’ uptime based on energy prices and grid load. A common issue with renewable energy farms, demand and supply imbalances provoke price volatility and inconsistent uptimes. Lancium works to enable bitcoin miners to effortlessly plug and unplug their rigs according to energy supply dynamics on the grid while ensuring grid customers can be provided with cheap and sustained power.
West Texas enjoys abundant solar and wind power. However, such types of energy are typically intermittent. Rising demand on a renewable energy grid would provoke an issue, as the grid’s supply would be restricted and unable to meet the demand. This imbalance could be solved by increasing the supply through alternative energy sources, like natural gas. However, bitcoin mining offers an alternative.
“Lancium’s sites act like a large power station but in reverse,” the report said. “The mines will absorb abundant renewable energy at times when supply outpaces demand, thereby monetizing these assets when there are no other buyers. And on the flip side, the mines will incrementally ramp down their energy intake, as demand on the grid rises.”
Lancium’s technology allows for the energy demand to be dialed up and down, depending on the grid’s supply and demand dynamics at any given moment. The company partnered with the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), a non-profit organization that operates Texas’ grid and pays miners to power down.
“Imagine how much you would have to pay Amazon to say, ‘Hey, there’s too much demand for power. Please power down your data center,’” Brandon Arvanaghi from Meow told CNBC. “But it can do that with bitcoin very easily, because all you have to do is pay the miners slightly more than what they would have made mining for bitcoin that hour.”
According to the report, Lancium plans to launch over 2,000 megawatts (MW) of power capacity in bitcoin mines built across Texas in 2022 with the $150 million raised. The funding round was led by Hanwha Solutions, a clean energy company, and other companies in the same industry.