The hydroelectric plant that was built in 1897 serves a different purpose. The Albany Times Union reported the Mechanicville plant of Albany Engineering Corp. is currently mining Bitcoin using some of its power.
Albany Engineering Corp. CEO Jim Besha stated that the facility is “the oldest renewable energy facility in existence” to the Albany Times Union. He said that the plant can make more with bitcoin than selling electricity to National Grid. However, he has taken up mining cryptocurrency.
Bitcoin mining requires high-powered equipment and is energy-intensive. There has been renewed criticism of cryptocurrency’s environmental impact, leading to new pushes to mine it using renewable energy sources such as this New York hydroelectric plant or an El Salvador volcano-powered mine.
Besha does not appear to be fully committed to Bitcoin. According to the Albany Times Union, ‘It’s best because we use renewable energy. “We are just doing it as a side project, and experimenting with it.” We are buying used servers. (It’s not that it will be easy to find new servers right now.
Because of volatility in the crypto market, he’s also selling the coins. The plant’s inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places, and its use of renewable power, may help to set it apart in comparison to other efforts at mining the cryptocurrency upstate New York.
It is unclear how a bill that would prohibit cryptocurrency mining in New York will affect Albany Engineering Corp.’s plans. This could also be a reason why Besha isn’t fully committed cryptocurrency mining. S6486B passed the New York Senate. It is currently awaiting a vote by the New York Assembly.