Crypto Mining Power Requests Suspended In Canada’s Quebec Province

News, Regulation | June 8, 2018 By:

Québec, a province in eastern Canada, has halted approvals for new cryptocurrency mining projects in order to give officials time to consider deeper restrictions and potential energy price hikes.

The provincial government issued the moratorium on new crypto mining operations after state-owned power generator Hydro Quebec asked the province to limit total power available to all crypto miners to a block of 500 megawatts, a fraction of the 17,000 megawatts that miners have originally asked for. Hydro Quebec also asked the province’s energy board to determine quickly how much it should charge miners to help maximize the energy producer’s revenue.

Quebec’s Energy Ministry ordered Hydro-Québec to halt electric power sales to cryptocurrency miners until regulators set a new framework for this category of electricity consumers. Energy Minister Pierre Moreau said in a statement that Quebec will establish rules that enable it to welcome “the best among the companies” from the cryptocurrency sector.

Hydro-Québec Distribution President Eric Filion said that new rules are required to ensure that the digital mining industry helps expand the province’s economy and does not result in higher power rates for its residents.

“The blockchain industry is a promising avenue for Hydro-Québec,” Filion. “Guidelines are nevertheless required to ensure that the development of this industry maximizes spinoffs for Québec without resulting in rate increases for our customers. We are actively participating in the provincial regulator’s process so that these guidelines can be produced as quickly as possible.”

This is not the first time Quebec has halted approvals for new crypto mining projects. In March of this year, the state-owned power generator temporarily halted the approval of new cryptocurrency mining operations, citing the large amount of energy demanded by miners.

At the time, Hydro-Quebec said it had received about 100 demands from cryptocurrency entrepreneurs totaling 10,000 megawatts of power. That represents one-quarter of Hydro-Quebec’s total capacity, which is estimated at 40,000 megawatts.