“We’re Getting Paid to Produce Bitcoins”
Sounds like things are going well for Thiel’s Texas mining operation
Bitcoin Miner Is Scoring 700% Profits Selling Energy to Grid
“On a sweltering summer afternoon in West Texas, a cryptocurrency miner backed by billionaire Peter Thiel powered down its data-processing centers for about 30 minutes. During that short window, the company made money not from Bitcoin, but from selling electricity.
On hot days without wind, the company, Layer1, can sell its contracted power supplies back into the grid for a profit. Recently, when power prices in Texas topped $200 a megawatt-hour, Layer1 reaped returns of more than 700%, according to its founder and chief executive officer, Alexander Liegl. At night, as power prices drop to zero or lower due to the oversupply of wind energy, it can throttle up operations as much as the circuit boards can handle.
When that happens, ‘we’re getting paid to produce Bitcoins,’ Liegl said.The strategy is part of a trend that’s revolutionizing how big electricity users interact with the grid. Instead of just passively consuming, tech giants and others are adjusting their operations hour by hour to access the cheapest, and in some cases cleanest, power. The move isn’t just profitable — it’s key to using more renewable energy. Currently, grids rely on natural gas and other fossil fuels to ramp up when demand peaks. When big users adjust consumption, wind and solar can handle more of the load.”