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20MW solar farm to power crypto-currency mining in Collie

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Collie, solar farm, crypto-currency

New Collie solar farm likely to use Belectric solar farm technology.

Planning approval has been obtained for a 20MW solar farm that will power a data centre and crypto-currency mining in the coal-mining centre of Collie in Western Australia.

The application for the solar farm was made by Hadouken Pty Ltd, a company owned by local energy entrepreneur Ben Tan, who has also been involved in a company called Tesla Holdings (no relation to the Elon Musk Tesla), and a Nasdaq-listed solar farm developer VivoPower.

The project was approved by the Joint Development Assessment Panel on Tuesday, and  is located near a sub-station on a rural property about 2kms north of Collie, the home of the state’s biggest coal generator, Muja.

The planning approval also includes the possibility of installing battery storage at a later date.

According to Business News, the output of the solar farm will used to used to mine “crypto-currencies” such as Bitcoin and others. The process of “mining” is an energy intensive process as it requites considerable computer and data resources.

Tan told the web-site the Collie was an excellent spot for a solar farm because of its good solar resources, and to help the transition away from coal.

The project is one of a number of large scale solar projects under construction or proposed in the state.

The 20MW Emu Downs solar farm was recently completed, the 10MW Northam solar farm is under construction and a 30MW extension to the Greenough River solar farm is also proposed.

There is also a 30MW solar farm at Byford, two 100MW plus solar farms proposed and a 50MW solar farm near Kalgoorlie.

There were numerous objections to the Collie project from local residents, one describing a solar farm as an “ugly scar” on the landscape, another couple saying could not comprehend why the shire council would want to encourage solar farms in the area.

“When all the coal mines are struggling to survive, and here we have a company going to put power into the grid using solar panels, hence threatening our mines and their production.”

  

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  • Ruben

    Excellent, build renewables to support crypto mining and they’ll still be around when crypto mining collapses.

  • Ken Fabian

    I would much prefer renewables projects that power homes and constructive – rather than speculative – businesses. I do admit to head scratching bewilderment at the energy costs of these crypto-currencies; are ‘real’ currency transactions this energy expensive too?

    • Stephen

      People are going to be crypto-mining with or without renewables. At least with this they’re not burning extra coal to do it. Furthermore, if cryptocurrencies ends up being something useful to society then great, but if not then these renewable plants will outlive it and keep providing benefit in the form of clean energy.

      Seems like a win win to me.

    • Ruben

      No, real currency transactions aren’t expensive, but that’s because of the way they operate. For a conventional transaction the bank keeps a ledger of all transaction and that’s it (individual clients my keep records of their own transactions, but not of all transactions of everyone).
      The way blockchain works is that every single user keeps a ledger of every single transaction ever made. But even that isn’t as energy intensive. Much of the energy requirements come from mining, where computers perform the transactions, but most of what they’re doing is rubbish calculations to “find” a hidden bitcoin (or whatever currency).
      So basically in order to get people to do the transactions “for free” many crypto currencies give them coins for doing so, so cyrpto currencies should actually be decreasing in value due to dilution.

      Anyway, there are many people that can explain crypto and blockchain much better than I can, so if you’re interested in finding out more, Dr Google can help.

  • phred01

    sounds very fraudulent got a smell of a pyramid scheme about it

  • Nick D

    What happened to WA’s solar on the NEM Widget?

    • Greg Hudson

      Voice your concern on the FEEDBACK button of the widget.

  • Greg Hudson

    ”There were numerous objections to the Collie project from local residents, one describing a solar farm as an ‘ugly scar’ on the landscape, another couple saying could not comprehend why the shire council would want to encourage solar farms in the area.
    When all the coal mines are struggling to survive, and here we have a company going to put power into the grid using solar panels, hence threatening our mines and their production.”
    I was under the impression that all the planet’s rednecks lived in South East USA… Sounds like some of them have moved to Western Australia!

    • Andy Saunders

      I’m a little surprised that a bitcoin facility (usually some sort of rectangular shed) is regarded as a blight on the Collie landscape, which boasts an open-cut coal mine.

      I know tastes vary, but that seems implausible. I think I’ve seen plenty of sheds around Collie, I doubt any bitcoin shed will reduce property values in the area…

      • Greg Hudson

        I doubt the rednecks were complaining about a shed, or crypto mining (which would be like alien technology to them) I read it as them whinging about the SOLAR FARM being a blight on the land (like a coal mine isn’t – yeah right)…

  • Andrew Thaler

    Gee… reading the discussions, I’m so relieved that you all have a firm grip on the Crypto/Bitcoin thing.

    No.. I cbf’d correcting your misinformation.. Ive been mining crypto’s in a solar farm for years and years. I know how it works, I’m comfortable with how it works. No I won’t tell you how it works.. except I was earning $1.35/kWhr in January.
    Now you are jealous. So tough luck eh. Keep shunning new technologies.. some of us dare to challenge the status quo.

    Not that Giles was ever interested.. he’d be much happier if I didn’t exist.
    Bloody lefties..

    • Andy Saunders

      Usually bitcoin energy costs are under 25% of revenue – looks like you’re slightly over the benchmark.

      • Andrew Thaler

        yeah.. there is a large difference between ‘mining’ bitcoin and running a ‘full-node’.
        neither are exclusive or operate exclusively though.. which is why it is a decentralised network.
        January was sweet.. the crash after it wasn’t so sweet.. but it is still worth it now, just not as lucrative.
        Thats about as far as I will share my info.

        I’m No longer a fan of Renew Economy and its partisan reporting.

  • BTC Miner

    How will they continue powering on the Bitcoin miners the other 16 hours per day?

    • Andrew Thaler

      grid power.
      although.. if you are interested.. I’m working on a hydro version.. 24/7 hydro power bitcoin/crypto mining in NZ.
      anyone interested: http://www.middleearthmining.io