Texas bitcoin miners back online after power surge caused curtailments

A small toy figure and representations of the virtual currency bitcoin stand on a motherboard in this picture illustration taken May 20, 2021. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) - Large-scale bitcoin mining operations in Texas are back online after sweltering temperatures that caused electricity use to spike led to power curtailments earlier in the month, an industry group said on Tuesday.

All of the major bitcoin miners, which use energy-intensive supercomputers to mine for cryptocurrencies, had paused operations last week as temperatures soared in the Lone Star state and power demand hit all-time highs as residents and businesses turned up their air conditioners. read more

"The miners are all back on as of several days ago," said Lee Bratcher, president of the Texas Blockchain Council. "ERCOT is back into a normal operating mode with over 3,000 megawatts (MW) of spare capacity on the grid."

The Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which operates the grid for more than 26 million customers and accounts for about 90% of the state's power load, did not immediately respond to request for comment.

Power use in Texas is expected to break records again this week as the lingering heatwave keeps air conditioners cranked up. read more

Reporting by Laila Kearney Editing by Marguerita Choy

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