The Sioux Energy Center has secretly mined 20 bitcoins since April – News Couple

The Sioux Energy Center has secretly mined 20 bitcoins since April

Electric services provider Ameren Corporation announced Monday that it has successfully mined over 20 Bitcoin (BTC) using excess energy from a coal-based power plant – the Sioux Energy Center in West Alton, Missouri.

While the company set up the coin-mining data center in April, it didn’t publicly announce the addition until Monday. The half-megawatt mining facility is leveraging the 972-megawatt generation capacity of the Sioux Energy Center to complete the mining activities required for proof of work.

It appears that Ameren’s goals in launching the operation were to halt the decline in the power plant’s power generation and provide the company with a new revenue stream. When mining began in April, the power plant was allegedly operating at only 17% of full capacity.

After the announcement, the company’s environmental impact was quickly called into question. In February, a coalition of three environmental groups — the Waterkeeper Alliance, the Missouri Confluence Waterkeeper and the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center — announced that they intended to sue the company for violating the federal Clean Water Act.

“They (two princes) have responded and we are evaluating our options,” said Bruce Morris, an attorney at the Great Rivers Environmental Law Center.

The Sioux Power Complex, located on farmland near the banks of the Mississippi River, allegedly stores more than 3 million tons of coal ash in an unlined storage pit. Environmental groups have urged management at the Sioux Energy Park to remove the coal ash storage pit in the past, but the benefit appears to have been limited.

Ashtracker, the energy pollution data reporting website of the Energy Safety Project, also reported that of the 29 water monitoring wells surrounding the plant, 15 were contaminated well above federal advisory levels for molybdenum, boron, sulfate, lithium and cobalt.

Although the facility completed a $600 million plan that upgraded the plant with the latest environmental controls in 2010, Ameren’s mining operation appears to be at odds with much of the industry’s views of how companies in the space should address their environmental footprint. Everyone from Elon Musk to crypto derivatives trading platform BitMEX has pledged to do their part to make mining less resource and energy consuming. Using carbon-neutral energy sources is integral to improving sustainable practices and mitigating the environmental impact of the industry, said Sam Tabar, chief strategist at Bitcoin miner BitDigital.