But Rayburn’s experience shows that’s not always the case. Miners are looking at remote sites, which in some cases will require millions of dollars in grid upgrades, Naylor said.

Utilities across Texas are fielding proposals. American Electric Power Co. is weighing requests from 75 to 100 Bitcoin miners to connect primarily across West Texas and is evaluating the need for upgrades to handle the mines. Golden Spread Electric Cooperative, which serves the Texas Panhandle and Central Plains, is studying inquiries from two dozen miners.

Imagine having so little regulation that crypto miners fine it advantageous to build there. Meanwhile power utilities continue to struggle under cold weather conditions. 🤨

The risks may pay off because crypto miners have pledged to shut down in times of crisis to conserve power, Naylor said. The biggest Bitcoin miner in Texas, Riot Blockchain, did so in February and last year, and others, such as Compute North LLC and Bitdeer Technologies Holding Co., have committed to shutting if needed.