Missoula County Promotes Renewable Energy Practices for Crypto Mining Operations

Energy Action

Missoula County, Montana’s second-most populous county, is working on regulating domestic cryptocurrency mining operations.

According to the county’s official website, the two drafts have been proposed in an effort to regulate crypto mining operations within the jurisdiction, with the country’s commissioners set to hold a public hearing on April 4.

Dubbed the “Cryptocurrency Mining Resolution,” and the “Cryptocurrency Mining Zoning Overlay District Regulations,” the two drafts underscore the potential effect of domestic crypto mining operations both on global warming and electronic waste.

As outlined in the drafts, the measure aims to establish specific “locations where cryptocurrency mining operations may be sited in Missoula County and conditions that must be met in order to protect the public health, safety, morals, and general welfare of county residents.”

In addition, the regulation also outlines several requirements for crypto mining operations, including limiting its location to light industrial and heavy industrial districts, as well as undergoing a review, verifying that all generated electronic waste are overseen by a DEQ-licensed recycling firm.

As the document underscored:

“These facilities shall be required to develop or purchase sufficient new renewable energy to offset 100 percent of the electricity consumed by the cryptocurrency mining operation. To meet this condition, the cryptocurrency mining operation must be able to establish that their actions will introduce new renewable energy onto the electrical grid beyond what would have been developed otherwise.”

Furthermore, the draft also delineated provisions for mining firms operating prior to the enforcement of the proposed regulations, adding that such firms would be allowed to continue operations, provided that they conform to existing regulatory measures. However, such companies will not be authorized to further expand operations unless they adhere to the conditions set in the proposed regulatory measures.

In February, PricewaterhouseCoopers’ blockchain specialist Alex de Vries published a study stressing that renewable energy is not the solution to Bitcoin’s current sustainability issue.

Earlier this month, U.S.-based Information technology consulting company Booz Allen Hamilton also highlighted blockchain technology’s potential to boost security, resiliency, and cost-efficiency of the infrastructure of new renewable energy markets across the Gulf Cooperation Council.