ABERDEEN, Idaho (KIFI) – The Idaho Utilities Commission has made a decision in the clash between the crypto company GeoBitmine and Idaho Power, which could impact crypto start-ups throughout the state.
GeoBitmine had plans to convert the old Simplot plant in Aberdeen into a greenhouse, which would then be heated by crypto-mining computer servers.
But those plans were halted, due to a new customer classification by Idaho Power. The class would involve a set energy rate for crypto companies and would let Idaho Power divert energy from the company in the summer, without compensation.
The Utilities Commission has now denied GeoBitmine’s petition for a new rate, but ruled that Idaho Power must give the company fair compensation when diverting their electricity.
GeoBitmine founder and CEO, Jay Jorgenson, says with this change, they’re willing to come back to the negotiating table.
“We want to take advantage of an opportunity to develop the state of Idaho, create those year-round jobs in jobs, and bring a lot of tax revenue and benefits to the state,” said Jorgenson. “The Aberdeen Idaho facility is still very much a place that we would like to entertain, if Idaho Power would be willing to come back to the table and say, ‘Okay, we’ve learned a few things, let’s see how we can do business together.'”
But the crypto company has other options in the state if the partnership doesn’t work out.
Idaho Power was not available for comment, but their new crypto customer classification has been approved by the Utilities Commission.
However, owners of crypto companies believe that the new resolution opens the door for more Bitcoin mining in the state.
“Now you have a lot of people in and around the country, different capital groups looking for places to deploy mining operations. Idaho now becomes a contender,” said Bosie-based Bitcoin Miner, Tom Merkle. “So, basically you could say, you know, Idaho is now kind of given a stamp of approval.”