New York-headquartered computing firm Soluna, is building wind-powered blockchain computing infrastructure in Morocco, to bring a clean and sustainable alternative to the current cryptocurrency mining approach.
The firm plans to develop its own 900MW wind farm power plant in Morocco and combine it with the company’s private computing facilities to help power the blockchain in a more eco-friendly and sustainable way.
The potential of blockchain technology has extended far beyond cryptocurrencies and financial transactions.
The technology has the potential to fundamentally alter the way we exchange practically anything, offering unparalleled security and speed, whether it be social networking, file storage, advertising, marketing, supply chain, or national property records. Read more: Is blockchain here to stay? (Part 1)
The increase in popularity and widespread usage has come at a cost: according to Digiconomist, as of June 2018, Bitcoin mining used approximately 71TWh per year, equivalent to almost 10% of China’s annual energy usage, representing an unsustainable growth in demand on the world’s energy resources. Read more: Energy trading: Blockchain is here to stay? (Part 2)
This has led cryptocurrency miners to turn to inexpensive and environmentally damaging fossil fuels.
In response to this ever-growing problem, Soluna has set out to be the world’s first utility-scale blockchain infrastructure company powered by its own private renewable energy sources.
Through its vertical integration approach, the energy systems and computing facilities will be self-contained, distributed, scalable, and flexible.
The firm explained in a statement that the project site covers 37,000 acres in southern Morocco with over 900MW of wind power potential. It is a Class I wind site, where wind speeds reach over 22 miles per hour, making it one of the highest quality wind sites in the world.
In November 2016, the King of Morocco announced the kingdom’s mission to produce over 52% of its electricity through green power by 2030 and create over 6,000MW of renewable projects by 2020.
The wind farm will be an off-grid design with the plan to integrate it with the grid later on.
High voltage transmission lines are expected to reach the site by mid-2019. If it is not connected to the grid, Soluna’s site will be one of the largest off-grid mining operations.
The company added that as more applications and services begin to move onto the blockchain, the agile, flexible computing facilities for this project will power the coming wave of blockchain technologies, networks, and distributed applications.
“Our vision is to power the blockchain with clean, renewable energy that we own and control,” says John Belizaire, CEO of Soluna.
“Soluna will address the growing demand for energy to power today’s growing blockchain networks, and will create the world’s first ‘service node’, providing high-density computing for future blockchain networks.”