Riot Blockchain announces plans to move NY miners to Lone Star State

Crypto mining firm Riot Blockchain said it has begun relocating rigs from its New York data facility, with the majority intended to end up in central Texas.

In a Wednesday announcement, Riot said it has transitioned some of its mining rigs from a Massena, New York facility — named Coinmint — as part of an effort to reduce the firm’s operating expenses through lower power costs and eliminate “all third-party hosting fees.” The company said it planned to “ship the balance of its S19 miner fleet” at Coinmint to Riot’s Whinstone facility in Rockdale, Texas in July.

The move comes amid many parts of Texas experiencing temperatures over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and power demands rising for air conditioners to keep residents cool. Data from the state’s primary energy provider, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, forecast that prices for its southern hub — which would include Riot’s facility in Rockdale — would peak at $95.94 per MW-hour over the next 24 hours. However, some reports suggest that energy production from wind and solar has helped to reduce costs amid increasing power demands.

Riot’s operations in Texas seemingly included preparations for the state’s heat wave. The company reported the construction of two air-cooled buildings in progress, one completed, and another in which “initial miner deployments have begun” as the firm finished some electrical work.

CEO Jason Les said the firm would curtail its energy consumption this summer as part of an ERCOT program aimed at addressing demand on Texas’ power grid. Cointelegraph reported in February that Riot shut down 99% of its operations in the state in anticipation of a possible severe winter storm requiring high energy demands — low temperatures and heavy snowfall were behind many parts of the state being without power for days in February 2021.

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The crypto mining firm reported it had produced 421 Bitcoin (BTC) in June but sold 300 BTC for $6.2 million, leaving Riot holding roughly 6,654 coins as of Thursday. The company reported there were 42,455 miners in its fleet producing a hash rate of 4.4 exahashes per second (EH/s), but planned to have a capacity of 12.5 EH/s following the deployment of 115,450 Antminer rigs by January 2023.