Some cryptocurrency miners in Texas have shut down some or all of their operations as the region awaits an Arctic blast that could test the state's power grid this week.

In recent months, many miners have flocked to the state to take advantage of Texas' low energy costs, saying they will reduce their energy consumption to help avoid a power outage similar to the one Texas experienced in 2021. That outage left about 4.5 million homes and businesses without power and caused nearly $200 billion in property damage.

The efforts will dovetail with those of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the Texas power grid and said Wednesday it will use "all tools to manage the grid. Some miners will also take advantage of state incentives to reduce their electricity use.

Read more: Bitcoin Mining Is Reshaping the Energy Industry and No One Is Talking About It

Riot blockchain is one of the largest miners in North America and has already reduced energy usage at its Whinstone plant in Rockdale by 98-99%, Trystine Payfer, Riot's director of communications, told CoinDesk. "We will continue to do this as needed until the ERCOT grid is free of extreme stress," she added.

Compute North, which hosts bitcoin miners in its data center, told CoinDesk that it is also closely monitoring the storm. "We are prepared to respond in real time to reduce our operations to support ERCOT, grid stability, and power needs," said Peter Liska, director of energy at Compute North.

Nathan Nichols, co-founder and CEO of Texas mining company Rhodium, tweeted that miners in the state are "reducing their loads starting today to help provide excess power reserves for #WinterStormLandon."

To be sure, there are programs available in Texas for high-powered consumers such as cryptocurrency miners to incentivize them to reduce their energy use during peak demand periods. For example, to help ERCOT stabilize the grid, Riot could participate in load management programs and other services, including some long-term lower fixed-price agreements, Payfer said.

Compute North's Liska said demand response programs, which allow customers to use less electricity when energy prices are high, are a way for companies to balance generation and consumption during periods of peak demand.

Liska added, "Instead of increasing energy production, we are reducing our load and feeding power back into the grid, which is more cost effective and efficient than adding additional energy reserves."


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