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State allows western NY power plant transfer to crypto firm ADVERTISEMENT

State allows western NY power plant transfer to crypto firm

ALBANY--The New York State Public Service Commission met Thursday, Sept. 15 to decide on a range of issues, one of which was the requirements to transfer a power plant from Fortistar North Tonawanda Inc. to Digihost International Inc. The agenda item received statewide attention as Digihost is a British Columbia company that is publicly traded and primarily focused on cryptocurrency mining.
While some thought this regulatory action could serve as a larger precedent-setting decision regarding cryptocurrency in New York state, the commission did not issue that type of ruling, but decided no further review was needed when looking at, "a potential for harm to the interests of captive utility ratepayers or the potential for the exercise of market power."
The decision goes on to say, "While numerous commenters raise significant environmental concerns, including emissions impacts and compliance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), these matters are beyond the scope of the limited review undertaken in this proceeding. This ruling is limited to review of the question raised in the petition regarding whether the transfer of upstream ownership interests in a natural gas-fired cogeneration facility requires further commission review under PSL §§70 and 83. To be clear, this ruling does not address the propriety of any permits that petitioners may be required to obtain from other federal, state, or local regulatory entities, where environmental impacts may be considered."
This decision received some 130 public comments ranging from the positive economic benefits the company brings to the region to the negative effects on sound levels, emissions and water use.
Digihost has said it is planning to make conversions at the facility to transition from natural gas to renewable natural gas and eventually hydrogen. These changes, according to the company, would reach zero emissions and would be in line with CLCPA goals.
A cryptocurrency mining moratorium has passed both the state Senate and Assembly but has not been signed into law by Gov. Kathy Hochul.

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