Texas wants to use bitcoin miners for grid stability as power demand soars

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Texas wants to use bitcoin miners for grid stability as power demand soars
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The Electricity Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) is considering integrating Bitcoin miners as Controllable Load Resources (CLRs) to enhance grid stability.

During a Texas Senate Business & Commerce Committee hearing, ERCOT CEO Pablo Vegas emphasized that classifying more Bitcoin miners as CLRs would improve the reliability of the state’s power grid.

A CLR is a major power consumer that can lower energy costs by avoiding high-price periods while providing essential grid stability services.

Vegas disclosed that crypto operations in Texas consume around 2,600 megawatts of energy, but only 500 megawatts are registered as CLRs, with just 130 megawatts actively participating. He stated:

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“I would like to see all crypto become Controllable Load Resources (CLRs); that would be, from a liabiity standpoint, truly advantageous.”

The crypto community has responded positively to the news, with Brian Morgenstern, Public Policy Head at Riot Platforms, calling it the most significant aspect of the hearing.

Bitcoin mining enthusiast Jacobo Pascual added:

“As grid reliability degrades with the addition of intermittent renewable capacity, the value of bitcoin mining as a balancing tool increases (add electricity demand when renewable capacity is plentiful, cut immediately when generation is insufficient).”

Texas energy needs

Meanwhile, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has expressed strong concerns over the projected increase in the Texas power grid’s capacity, driven by Bitcoin miners and artificial intelligence data centers. The grid is expected to expand from 85,000 to 150,000 megawatts within the next decade, far exceeding the previously projected 110,000 megawatts.

Patrick commented:

“Crypto miners and data centers will be responsible for over 50% of the added growth. We need to take a close look at those two industries. They produce very few jobs compared to the incredible demands they place on our grid.”

He further noted that miners might profit more from selling electricity back to the grid than from their mining operations. Patrick prioritized supporting retail users and traditional businesses over niche industries that heavily burden the grid. He stated:

“I’m more interested in building the grid to service customers in their homes, apartments, and normal businesses and keeping costs as low as possible for them instead of for very niche industries that have massive power demands and produce few jobs. We want data centers, but it can’t be the Wild Wild West of data centers and crypto miners crashing our grid and turning the lights off.”

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