Readers of this publication are used to hearing about decentralized energy technologies powering remote mining operations. 

Now, two Canadian oil and gas companies have joined forces for a cogeneration project to supply a data centre that will focus on a different kind of mining activity: cryptocurrency mining.

Bird River Resources, which focuses on the oil and gas, cogeneration and technology sectors, and exploration firm Divestco have agreed to jointly build a 3 MWe gas-fired cogeneration plant to supply Divestco’s computing centre in Calgary, Alberta.  

Under the proposed arrangement, Bird River will pay for two thirds and Divestco will pay for one third of the project costs, with both parties having a 50 per cent ownership in the completed project.

The firms said their joint centre will be able to hold up to 3000 digital currency mining rigs. The estimated cost of powering the facility is around CA1.4 cents/kWh, compared with the Canadian industry average cost of electricity at approximately CA6 cents/kWh.

“Electricity is one of the largest expenses in running a commercial cryptocurrency mining operation. Securing low-cost electricity through our joint cogeneration facility provides us with an impressive competitive advantage,” said Ty Pfeifer, director of Bird River Resources.

Stephen Popadynetz, Divestco’s president and CEO, said the project “will allow Divestco to substantially increase its compute power for its regular operations with a highly cost-effective energy solution and an insulation against possible future power pricing spikes” and that the cogeneration plant will provide “low cost electricity [that] will set us above the rest”.