One startup is offering a solution to the high demand for energy from blockchain technology by building a wind farm in Dakhla, Morocco.
By Charles Catania
While municipal and regional governments across the globe grapple with the high societal burden of crypto mining, one startup is offering a new path forward.
Instead of taxing local resources where electricity is inexpensive, Soluna, a blockchain company backed by private financing, is turning the tables.
Soluna is breaking ground with its own power supply, building computing centers supplied with 100 percent renewable energy.
To accomplish this goal, the company plans to develop a 900-megawatt wind farm in Dakhla in southern Morocco to power its computing operations. According to Reuters, the project will begin this year and take five years to complete.
Later, the company may connect the farm to the national electric grid. While the total cost is expected to be more than $1.4 billion, the company is investing just $100 million in the initial phase, which is anticipated to generate 36 megawatts of power.
The plan is to vertically integrate the blockchain ecosystem, using internally-owned electricity to power blockchain operations.
To do this, the company acquired 37,000 acres of land zoned as a Class I wind site, indicating that it has an average wind speed of at least 22 miles per hour, according to the company’s website.
Additionally, Soluna plans to invest in the local community, recruiting and training local talent and “partnering with colleges and trade schools to employ the top technologists of tomorrow.”
According to Digiconomist, Bitcoin operations, collectively, consume more electricity than the entire country of Peru. On the local level, this has inspired controversy in areas where electricity costs are low.
Soluna’s wind project, in contrast, will aid the Moroccan government in its goal to power the country with 52 percent of its electricity from renewable sources.
For a long time, my colleagues and I at Modulus have been saying that the blockchain economy offers more than meets the eye.
In order to make innovation work for everybody, both innovators and host communities, we can no longer view the problem through a traditional lens.
It is not enough to slice up a static pie. Instead, we must look for ways to expand the size of the pie and do it sustainably.
If Soluna finds success in its initial phase, look for more blockchain companies to begin to vertically integrate their operations, bringing an additional net positive to the communities in which they are headquartered.
The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Morocco World News’ editorial views.
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