Due to the ongoing heat wave in the state of Texas, the operator of the electricity distribution system in Ercot also sees the security of supply in the electricity grid at risk. Residents and companies were asked to save electricity this week. Among others, electric car maker Tesla responded: Texan drivers of electric cars are currently being shown information on the car’s display that asks for a state of balance when crashing. reports Electrek special service.
“A heat wave is expected to affect the Texas power grid over the next few days. The grid operator recommends avoiding peak charging between 3 a.m. and 8 p.m. if possible,” the report said. It’s the second time this year, Tesla previously warned drivers in Texas because of the heat in early May.
Bitcoin miners: save electricity instead of mining
Also, major Bitcoin miners in the country, such as Riot Blockchain and Core Scientific, have reportedly pledged to disable their ASIC machines. Thus the electrical grid was spared approximately 1000 megawatts of power consumption, Lee Bratcher of the Blockchain Council of Texas told business news organization Bloomberg. This means that more than one percent of Texas’ total network capacity can be used for other purposes.
However, financial motives played a role Bratcher pointed out to The Verge. The shortage is also driving up electricity prices in Texas. In addition, with the rapid decline in the price of cryptocurrency, the earning opportunities of miners have also fallen significantly – Bitcoin is currently only less than 20,000 US dollars. As a result of the crypto price slide, the shares of listed mining companies also fell.
Bitcoin hashrate has also seen a downward trend this week, from around 240 exahashes per second to now around 169 exahashes per second, according to statistics from Coinwarz. However, the decline in value is not uncommon – and whether it is due to the Texas search restriction is difficult to say.
Mining Boom and Vulnerable Net
Texas is among the US states that have witnessed the relocation of many mining rigs following the exodus of bitcoin miners from China. Chinese authorities took tougher measures against miners last year and kicked miners out of the country. In Texas, among other places, they were welcomed with open arms and cheap electricity prices, so that the USA is now the leader in the fastest Bitcoin network performance.
Problems and vulnerabilities in Texas’ electrical grid, which is largely isolated from the rest of the country, have recently become apparent again and again during extreme weather conditions. Last summer there was extreme heat, which brought the risk of failure. At the time, some consumers complained that the electricity supplier opened their thermostats remotely so that the air conditioning systems worked less. Those affected had participated in a type of lottery, where the participation also included the authorization of this type of remote control during high loads.
Before that, unusually cold and snowy conditions caused blackouts in Texas earlier this year. Samsung, NXP and Infineon chip manufacturing facilities were forced to shut down due to power grid overload.