The US’s first nuclear-powered Bitcoin mining facility has now been completed, drawing crypto closer to its renewable energy commitment. The 300,000-square-foot data centre in Northeastern Pennsylvania will generate over 48 MW of energy for powering an in-house data centre and a Bitcoin mining facility.
The first of its kind in the US, Talen Energy’s Cumulus data centre, which is directly connected to the Susquehanna nuclear plant, is already set to receive its first users in a few weeks. In a flag-off statement, CEO Alex Hernandez stated that all partners to the project “are looking forward to advancing [the] mission to solve the energy trilemma”, succinctly defined as a case of “rapidly increasing consumer demand for zero-carbon, low-cost, and reliable electricity….”
Hernandez further disclosed two other nuclear projects in their pilot phase, adding that the current facility is the outcome of its joint partnership deal with the top bitcoin mining company, TerraWulf.
Talen Energy’s success is a milestone for the future of nuclear energy, especially in the US, where bureaucracy continues to stifle efforts towards innovative progress. Oklo, another lofty San Francisco start-up which had pledged to help solve renewable energy needs, especially for crypto miners, was officially disapproved by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) in January 2022.
Before its imperial ban on cryptocurrencies, China was responsible for nearly 30% of the global crypto renewable energy consumption.
Elon and the Bitcoin Energy Case
The drive for an eco-friendly energy alternative was brought to the fore in July 2021 after Twitter, and Tesla CEO Elon Musk pulled the plug on Bitcoin as a means of payment for the purchase of Tesla. Elon had cited energy concerns tasking maximalists to find a solution for making Bitcoin mining more energy-efficient. As research showed last year, Bitcoin’s energy consumption is over 50 times less than the energy consumed by the global financial system it seeks to replace.
Since the turn of the bear market, Bitcoin mining has continued to witness a downtrend. Core Scientific and Compute North, two of the world’s largest bitcoin mining companies, filed for bankruptcy late last year, citing a crash in Bitcoin price, soaring mining costs and humongous debts. Talen’s nuclear energy plant will help drive down mining costs.
Bitcoin has continued a two-week upward rally gaining over $4000 as it slid past the $21,000 resistance into the $23,000 zone. Its market cap is rapidly increasing to the half-a-billion mark, thanks to unexplained forces.