By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
An interesting situation has developed in an Eastern Washington county where the public utility district is facing challenges to its electric system caused by the arrival of Bitcoin mining operations attracted to the area due to the low cost of power. The strain from these electricity data centers poses risks to both the cost of power to residents and might if left unabated pose a strategic cost to the credit rating of the utility itself, which will negatively affect the utility’s municipal bond rates for future expansions or debt retirements.
The allure of cheap power is leading to wildcat bitcoin mining that if unchecked could load the county’s power system at a greater level than that utilized by all the county’s electric users.
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