A company looking to build a massive solar power project in Butte, Montana claims it would provide 300 MW of renewable energy and cost $ 250 million, Gizmodo reported. That’s according to Madison River Equity LLC, whose parent company also manages cryptomining outfit Atlas Power. As Gizmodo reports that Madison would build the solar panel and then sell it to Atlas, who hopes to use it to power its cryptocurrency mining operations. If the solar park, called the Basin Creek Solar Project, is actually built, it could be one of the largest in the US, but it raises questions about the impact of such projects and the impact of cryptos on energy.
While the project would theoretically enable Atlas’s mining and other data center operations to run on renewable energy, there are arguments that green energy does not make crypto itself green. There is still the problem of e-waste generated when hardware is no longer profitable, and the question of what will happen if there is not enough solar power available to fuel mining. And while the massive solar energy project appears to be in line with the goals of some (including Elon Musk) in the crypto community who are trying to distance themselves from fossil fuel mining operations, it also demonstrates the issues that can arise when attempting a green energy project, especially one led by a company focused on crypto.
According to the Montana standardButte-Silver Bow’s zoning government recently turned down another energy project that also looked to use residential land, citing the aesthetic concerns of local residents. The StandardThe report also includes similar concerns from Butte residents about ruined views on the Basin Creek Solar Project.
There are also some members of the community who are concerned about whether the extra electricity generated will actually benefit Butte, or whether it will be sold elsewhere. Add to that the reportedly colorful past of Atlas Power’s owners: the company used to be called CryptoWatt – and it is understandable why residents would be wary.
At this point, the fate of the Basin Creek Solar Project (and possibly the fate of Atlas Energy’s mine expansion) appears to be in the hands of the Butte-Silver Bow zoning board, which will meet on June 17 to discuss whether to build solar panels. on what is currently private property.