The Quebec government will be lifting the suspension on electricity sale to crypto miners. Local news outfit Le Journal De Montreal was told that the reason for the Quebec authorities’ change of heart is to “avoid missing the ship” on crypto.
Pierre Moreau, the Minister of Energy, will come up with a mandate on the regulation of serving the electrical requirements of cryptocurrency miners, consuming a tremendous amount of power for their business. Earlier in February, the minister stated that “we must ensure that this type of business is controlled so that Hydro-Québec does not see all of its production capacity absorbed.”
Hydro-Québec which runs approximately 60 hydroelectric generating stations has received purchase power request from more than 100 business with a total energy consumption exceeding 10 TWh. Hydro-Québec has a surplus capacity of around 13 TWh.
The energy demand was quite unexpected according to Le Journal. Hydro-Québec CEO Eric Martel said in January that they were looking to sell not more than 5 TWh of electricity to the crypto miners in the next few years.
The regulation will establish different rates for crypto miners and energy suppliers will be allowed to implement “forced offloading.” That means they can cut off power to miners for up to 300 hours per year when the state power grid is at maximum capacity. Hydro-Québec spokesman Marc-Antoine Pouliot stated:
“Having interruptible customers during these critical periods makes it possible to connect more,” adding that, “[Hydro-Québec’s mandate] is to ensure the implementation of cryptocurrencies in Quebec by maximizing economic benefits and ensuring the stability of our electricity supply.”