A cryptomine data center next to a dam in New Zealand has been granted resource and land approval.

Hearings commissioner Bob Nixon approved Contact Energy’s resource consent application for a two-lot, 1.6-acre subdivision and land use consent for the construction of the data center and associated facilities on Fruitgrowers Road.

Lake Parime
– Lake Parime

In August 2021, UK-based digital infrastructure startup Lake Parime announced plans to build a 10MW data center close to the Clyde dam. Due to go live in May 2022, the site would house eight containerized data centers and nearly 3,000 servers, and seemingly will be dedicated to cryptocurrency mining and blockchain applications.

The approval comes subject to standard regulatory and building conditions regarding subdivision, services and land use. In his decision, Nixon said that within one year of the data center becoming operational, Contact Energy will need to carry out an assessment of noise levels being generated to ensure they do not exceed limits dictated by the consent.

The data center would be operated by Lake Parime, under a lease agreement with Contact Energy. No staff would be permanently based at the site.

New Zealand’s South Island is soon set to have excess power, as the huge Tiwai aluminum smelter plant is due to close in 2024. Contact is looking to sign 300MW of power deals to make up for the loss, including a 60MW Datagrid data center, which will eventually grow to 100MW.

Cryptomine data centers continue to expand

In other crypto/blockchain data center news:

BitNile Michigan.jpg
BitNile's operations in Michigan – BitNile
  • Northern Data has announced plans to establish its North American Operational Headquarters near Tulsa, Oklahoma. The company aims to build 250MW worth of HPC/cryptomining data center capacity by 2024; 10MW in Q2 2022, and expanding to 50MW in Q4 2022.
    “We are excited to enter into strategic agreements with our partners of choice in Oklahoma, which marks the beginning of a new chapter of our growth story,” said Aroosh Thillainathan, Founder and CEO, Northern Data. “The data centers are projected to start going online very soon, with full capacity reached by the end of 2024, and we see these innovative high-quality data centers as the cornerstone of our long-term strategy. Our campus design is going beyond mining, extending to cloud services and even establishing a research lab dedicated to the discovery of future data processing applications.”
    Gov. Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma, added: “This investment is a considerable win for the Oklahoma Department of Commerce and our efforts to attract another high growth company and partner of choice to the state. We have engaged with many HPC data center companies looking at Oklahoma. Northern Data is different. They have demonstrated a clear “best in class” approach with their proven business model.”
  • Hive Blockchain has signed a non-binding Letter of Intent ("LOI") with Compute North for 100 MW deployment at one of Compute North's renewable energy campuses in Texas. The firm has also signed a Supply Agreement with Intel for its upcoming blockchain accelerator, along with a manufacturing agreement with an ODM (original design manufacturer) to integrate those accelerators into an air-cooled Bitcoin mining system. The miners are expected to be delivered over a period of one year starting in the second half of 2022, and are expected to increase the firm’s hashrate up to 95 percent from the current 1.9 Exahash per second.
  • BitNile has announced plans to expand the power capacity at its Michigan data center to 300MW. The expansion will allow the facility to operate approximately 90,000 Bitcoin miners.
    BitNile’s Michigan facility – built in 1972, acquired in December 2020, and operated through its Alliance Cloud Services subsidiary – comprises 617,000 square feet and was recently renovated to provide for a 30,000 square foot data center. To date, the company said it has spent over $100 million on procuring mining equipment and upgrading the data center, located at 415 East Prairie Ronde Street, Dowagiac. The company is also looking into entering into a multi-year power purchase agreement with a nuclear plant, as well as exploring off-grid cogeneration of power to extend its overall capacity beyond 300MW.
  • Soluna Computing, Inc is developing a 50MW cryptomine data center in Lubbock, Texas, that is due to open soon. The facility – known as Project Dorothy – is connected to a wind farm with loads of excess energy and had a target go-live date of Q1 2022.
    Soluna also has Project Kati, two 60MW data center projects each tied into two 150MW wind farms in Seymour, Texas; Project Marie, a 14.2MW operating facility with a 10MW expansion option located in Calbert City, Kentucky; Project Rosa, a 75MW data center project tied into a 160MW solar plant located in Odessa, Texas; and Project Sophie, a 25 MW greenfield facility located in Murray, Kentucky.
  • In Washington, Chancellor John Rambo has issued a judgment ruling that Red Dog Technologies LLC’s bitcoin operations on property owned by BrightRidge in the Limestone area do not conform with the proper use allowed under Washington County’s zoning regulations. He ruled that the operations at 144 Bailey Road do not meet the definition of a public utility as outlined in the county’s zoning rules.

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