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A Texas cryptocurrency mining business got $9.2M to cut power last month for grid stability

Riot Blockchain Inc. mines and hosts bitcoins.

AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas cryptocurrency mining business got millions of dollars to cut power last month.

Riot Blockchain Inc. mines and hosts bitcoins.

In July, the state power grid manager gave Riot $9.5 million in power credits to cut back on production during peak electricity demand.

"As energy demand in ERCOT [Electric Reliability Council of Texas] reached all-time highs this past month, the company voluntarily curtailed its energy consumption in order to ensure that more power would be available in Texas. Riot curtailed a total of 11,717 megawatt hours in July," Jason Les, CEO of Riot, said in a press release.

ERCOT's fact sheet shows 1 megawatt can power 200 homes during peak demand.

ERCOT gives energy credits for certain power users to curtail activity. Those credits can be used against future power bills.

"Curtailing the company’s power consumption reduced BTC production by an estimated 21% in July, but also significantly reduced Riot’s power costs for the month. By providing power back into the ERCOT grid during periods of peak demand, the company estimates that power credits and other benefits from curtailment activities totaled an estimated $9.5 million, significantly outweighing the reduction in BTC mined," Les said.

Riot is also building a one gigawatt facility in Navarro County, Texas.

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