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Hydro-Quebec considers special rates for Bitcoin miners as demand surges

A Hydro-Quebec transmission line in Pointe-Claire. Tim Sargeant/Global News

Hydro-Quebec may consider raising its rates for energy-hogging cryptocurrency miners who are rushing to establish themselves in the province.

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Spokesman Marc-Antoine Pouliot says more than 100 cryptocurrency companies have expressed interest in coming to Quebec as they look for cheap sources of energy to power the computers that solve the equations that support the currency.

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He says the sheer volume of demand is forcing the public utility to reflect on what rates to offer and how many clients it can accommodate.

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Pouliot says a few operations have already been established and Hydro-Quebec is analyzing dozens more requests.

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Some of the proposed projects are as big as 100 megawatts, Pouliot said — more than 20 times what it takes to power Montreal’s Bell Centre.

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A spokesperson for Natural Resources Minister Pierre Moreau confirmed the matter of raising rates is being discussed but said no final decision has been made.

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