20MW Solar Farm Set to Power Crypto Mining in Rural Australia
Reports have indicated that planning approval has been granted for a 20-megawatt solar farm that will be used to power cryptocurrency mining and a data center in Collie, Western Australia.
20MW Solar Farm to Power Cryptocurrency Mining in Western Australia
The application for the solar farm has been made a by Hadouken Pty Ltd, which is owned by Australian Ben Tan. Mr. Tan previously co-founded Nasdaq-listed international solar power company, Vivopower International PLC. The solar park will be used to power cryptocurrency mining activities and a data center. Approval for the farm was recommended by the Southern Development Assessment Panel.
The site of the expected solar farm is approximately 2 kilometers (approximately 1.25 miles) north of Collie – a rural town situated 213 kilometers (approximately 132 miles) south of the Perth, the state’s capital. Collie is home to Western Australia’s largest power generator, Muja – a coal-fired power station capable of generating 854 megawatts of electricity.
Hadouken’s application indicated that the company intends to install a battery storage system positioned in ten shipping containers in future, with the solar facility set to be constructed within three to six months on an eighteen-hectare site.
Solar and Cryptocurrency Mining Offers Lifeline to Declining Coal Mining Town
For sixty years, Collie’s two coal mines were responsible for producing 60 percent of Western Australia’s coal-fired electricity. Recent years has seen the future of town cast in doubt, with the Australian Broadcasting Corporation quoting a local politician as stating that “The cost of production is higher than the return from the coal itself so that’s really the basis of the issue and after so long a parent company’s going to say enough’s enough.”
The approved application for the farm indicates enthusiasm for the project, which states that “Approval and implementation of the proposal will also be a positive contribution towards establishing a greater presence of the renewable energy sector within the Shire of Collie.”
Hadouken expects to have completed the construction of the facility within three to six months. The construction of the facility is expected to hire a workforce of 40-80 individuals, with three part-time staff predicted to be tasked with the maintenance of the facility in the future. Despite the recognition of the economic benefits of the project, media has reported that some locals expressed concerns that the site may comprise an eyesore.
Mr. Tan has indicated that his company will mine bitcoin in addition to “other [crypto]currencies,” with local media quoting Mr. Tan as describing Collie as an “excellent spot for a solar farm.”
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