An obsolete hydroelectric power plant in Costa Rica has been revived to power several cryptocurrency mining operations.
As per the report by Reuters, the plant was resuscitated after 30 years as the Costa Rican government had stopped buying electricity during the Covid-19 pandemic due to surplus power supply in the country.
Renewable Energy For Crypto Mining
The report stated that the facility is based on the Poas River around 35 kilometers from the capital, San Jose, and powers eight containers that fuel over 650 machines from 150 customers. After being defunct for almost a period of nine months, the plant was recently resurrected back to life for powering crypto mining activities.
The plant is one of three that the hydroelectric company owns, which are valued at $13.5 million and have a three Megawatt capacity. The family business, also owns a 60-hectare farm Data Center CR, and had invested $500,000 to accommodate hosting digital mining computers.
Eduardo Kooper is the owner of Data Center CR and the plant said that he learned that crypto mining business requires a lot of energy, much of which comes from fossil fuels. International cryptocurrency miners are looking for clean, cheap energy and a stable internet connection, which Costa Rica has plenty of. The country’s government should be more vocal about trying to attract more crypto mining business. Kooper also added,
“We had a lot of power, but we did nothing with it. We had to pause activity for nine months. We looked for many alternatives – from making fried food, frozen food – everything that used a lot of energy. Just a year ago, someone told me about Bitcoin, blockchain, and digital mining.”
The entire customer base of date center are local citizens, such as Mauricio Rodriguez, a 31-year-old computer security engineer who entered digital mining to earn extra money from home in 2021 with equipment valued at $7,000.
Environment Friendly Energy
Costa Rica’s central bank said it has started to provide space for technological innovation to allow a Fintech industry to grow and has been constantly monitoring developments in the upliftment of the financial sector. According to Kooper, the central American country has however been slow to adapt to new technologies, unlike El Salvador, which became the first country in the world to adopt Bitcoin as legal tender in September 2021.
Last year, in a bid to use more of renewable energy, the state of New York, revived a 123 year old hydroelectric power plant to power Bitcoin mining.