PUD extends cryptocurrency mining moratorium


Chelan County PUD Commissioners have delayed until Nov. 19 a hearing on higher power rates for cryptocurrency miners. A moratorium on high-density cryptocurrency power requests, in place since March, was extended Monday while the PUD creates a new rate structure for such operations.

Because of low-cost power in the region, Chelan, Douglas and Grant counties have seen a deluge of power requests from miners of bitcoin and other digital currencies. Whether the PUD can supply all the power and new infrastructure being requested without increasing rates for other power users has been a key point of the discussion.

In addition, the PUD would like to see cryptocurrency miners move out of residential areas and has proposed higher rates for home-based operations than for those in commercial and industrial areas, which also would rise.

An informational meeting on the rate proposals is planned for Nov. 7 and approval of the new rates could happen Dec. 3, to go into effect in April, 2019.