On Friday, Soluna, a New York-based computing company backed by Brookstone Partners, announced it will build a wind-powered center in southern Morocco for use as a cleaner alternative to cryptocurrency mining. The company is developing its 900-megawatt, 37,000-acre wind farm in a class I site where winds exceed 22 miles per hour.
The organization's efforts are informed by the high energy costs associated with cryptocurrency mining; in fact, according to data from Digiconomist, bitcoin mining accounts for about 71 terawatt hours' worth of electricity annually. According to the announcement, this electricity usage represents "an unsustainable growth in demand on the world's energy resources."
Soluna CEO John Belizaire commented on the company's mission of sustainability:
"Our vision is to power the blockchain with clean, renewable energy that we own and control. Soluna will address the growing demand for energy to power today's growing blockchain networks, and will create the world's first 'service node,' providing high-density computing for future blockchain networks."
The organization has not stated when it plans to start development or whether the Moroccan government will play a role in the wind farm. The king of Morocco, however, announced the nation's goal of producing "over 52% of its electricity through green power by 2030 and creat[ing] over 6,000 Megawatts of renewable projects by 2020."
Moreover, Soluna's project will start off as "an off-grid operation" but the company plans to eventually integrate it into the network, connecting high-voltage transmission lines to the site next year. The organization claims its "site will be one of the largest off-grid mining operations" while it remains unconnected.
The issue of high electricity usage in cryptocurrency mining has long been a topic of discussion within the cryptospace. While companies like Soluna are trying to develop cleaner ways to mine, other authorities, such as in New York and Quebec, have attempted to prohibit or limit the activity.