Council discusses request from cryptomining company

Published 11:00 am Thursday, September 30, 2021

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At their Tuesday meeting, the West Point City Council discussed a request from EZ Blockchain, a cryptomining company, to provide power for potential locations of operation in West Point.

“They’re looking at two locations that are adjacent to our substations,” City Manager Ed Moon said. “They want to be as close to the substations as they can be. The West Point Development Authority and private property owners are working with the company to locate those sites. We’ve also worked with Electric Cities of Georgia to work on an agreement to provide the electric service to this company.”

Moon said the City of West Point could sign a three-to-five-year agreement with the company.

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“We’re also looking at a fixed margin for the city to place on the electrical service as well as a 60-day deposit, which will protect us as far as our billing cycle goes moving forward,” he said. “The only cost to the city associated with this will be for us just to make power ready, on our side. All the other costs associated with it would be on the company. So really, all we’re looking at as a city is providing electric service to this company for their operation. Since this is a large loan, that’s the reason why we’re making this special effort through this agreement.”

Walter West, senior vice president and chief operating officer of Electric Cities of Georgia, said that the cryptocurrency mining uses more electricity than all the countries on Earth except for seven. He said that the high amount of electricity it uses is what makes it so attractive to Electric Cities of Georgia and MEAG cities in Georgia.

He displayed images of cryptocurrency containers.

“One container is about two megawatts, which is equal to about 1,340 homes,” he said. “That’s how much electricity that one of these small containers use. That is also equal to about four or five Walmart supercenters, depending on the size of that center, but they’re using a massive amount of electricity.”

West said the containers have computers in them that are each a little bit bigger than a shoe box. They use electricity 24/7.

“And they have to have internet connection, because what they’re doing is they’re validating transactions that cryptocurrency makes up,” he said.

West said one of the sites in West Point would use about four megawatts, and the other would use about 10 megawatts.

The EZ Blockchain agreement will be discussed again during the work session on Thursday, Oct. 7.