Compass Mining, the world’s first online marketplace for Bitcoin mining hardware and hosting, has announced a 20-year commercial partnership with Oklo Inc., a California-based company that develops renewable energy facilities.
Oklo stated that its advanced fission reactors will be able to start supplying clean energy sometime in the early 2020s, according to a press release. In the first phase of the 20-year collaboration, Oklo intends to provide Compass with at least 150 megawatts of renewable energy.
Oklo is part of a wave of companies developing smaller reactors that they say would be faster and cheaper to build than conventional nuclear plants. Such reactors could be compact and produce a lot of electricity while emitting no hazardous pollutants. Jacob DeWitte, co-founder and CEO of Oklo said,
We are proud to blaze new trails on the commercialization of our powerhouses by partnering with Compass in decarbonizing Bitcoin
Oklo is the first advanced fission firm whose license to build and operate a power plant has been accepted for consideration by the United States Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The two companies didn’t disclose the financial details of the partnership.
Oklo will begin exploring locations around the United States once it’ll receive clearance. In terms of international expansion, the firm sees potential in Central, Southern, and Eastern Europe, as well as the Americas.
Oklo and Compass aren’t the only ones working on this. Energy Harbor Corp., a power producer, said earlier this week that it has engaged in a five-year agreement with Standard Power that will begin at the end of the year to deliver carbon-free electricity from its nuclear fleet to Standard Power’s Bitcoin mining facility in Coshocton, Ohio.
The announcement comes amid a lengthy discussion about the environmental implications of Bitcoin mining. Crypto miners rely on massive amounts of processing power and energy to validate transactions on the blockchain or decentralized ledger.
According to a Bank of America Corp. analysis, miners energy use is comparable to that of many developed countries and rivals the emissions from major fossil-fuel users and producers such as airlines and oil-services firms, though others disagree, arguing that it is no worse than the carbon footprint of cars, power plants, and factories.
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