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Texas Weather Drives 17K Riot Miners to Go Offline

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Riot Platforms Inc., one of the largest Bitcoin miners globally, has revealed that a sizable portion of its operations is offline because of damage incurred during recent winter storms in Texas. Two of the buildings at the mining company’s Whinstone operation in Rockdale were reportedly damaged in December when Texas endured days of subzero weather.

In a February 6 announcement, the company reported that 17,040 of its 82,656 Bitcoin mining machines in Rockdale, Texas, were offline because of damage from powerful winter storms in late December. From December 22 to December 25, various areas of Texas and the United States experienced below-freezing temperatures.

This has impacted Riot’s annual hash rate goals, according to the CEO of the company. The price of Riot’s stock dropped as much as 6.7% on Monday.

Harsh Weather Brings Down Huge Crypto Mining Facility

Riot currently owns one of the world’s largest crypto-mining facilities by computer power, with a 750-megawatt capacity Bitcoin mining operation located in Rockdale, Texas. The company had announced the relocation of several of its mining rigs from the earlier New York site to Texas in July 2022.

“As previously disclosed, some sections of piping in Buildings F and G were damaged during the severe winter storms in Texas in late December, impacting approximately 2.5 EH/s of our hash rate capacity,” the February 6 announcement states.

“Repairs have been ongoing in both buildings, and we have successfully brought Building F back online, representing 0.6 EH/s of impacted hash rate capacity. We are thankful for our team’s progress, despite difficult weather conditions, and are evaluating several options to bring online the approximately 1.9 EH/s of hash rate capacity still affected in Building G.”

Ice storms last week affected Bitcoin miners in Texas as well, as the harsh weather caused electricity costs to spike, forcing several local miners to scale back their operations. After almost all of the state’s large-scale miners disconnected their equipment during a record-breaking heat wave last summer, this weather-related setback for the industry is being much talked about.

The American Bitcoin mining startup maintained its production speed throughout June last year despite the collapse of the digital asset market and the hot Texas summers. The firm mined 421 BTC throughout the month, up 73% over the 243 assets mined in June of last year.

Regarding the increasing demand for electricity during the summer, it is important to note that Riot Blockchain started moving all of its miners from Massena, New York, to Texas. The decision to move to Texas is supported by the fact that energy prices there are two times lower than in New York.

Scores of Enterprises Affected

Many areas of the country saw sudden dips in temperature in December 2022, but the weather of major Texas towns like Dallas and Austin was accompanied by significant ice storms early this month. The weight of the piled ice has reportedly snapped off numerous tree branches and pieces, damaged electrical lines, wrecked cars, and obstructed roadways. Thousands of residents and offices are stranded without electricity.

Colorado-based corporation Castle Rock has reported that they are likely to miss their goals for computational power in the first quarter as well, thanks to the storm.

At least six people have died because of the relentless barrage of hazardous, icy weather and extreme cold that caused more than 2,300 flights to be cancelled. All week long, reports of accidents on slick roads have come out of Texas, Arkansas, and other states in the area.

It has become impossible to provide predicted restoration times because of icy roadways and frozen equipment, according to the city’s community-owned electric providers. The Southern Plains to the Mid-South continue to be covered by several storm warnings and advisories, despite the meteorological service’s statement that the ice storm should end on Thursday.

Despite being home to such weather anomalies, the state has become one of the USA’s top locations for cryptocurrency mining. Why? Its supportive regulations and affordable electricity are winning factors. No wonder a corporation as big in the crypto mining space as Riot also decided to relocate its facilities to Texas last year.

Beyond the Storm: Riot Making Headways

Riot reports that all their miner purchase contracts with Bitmain Technologies Ltd. are completed with the receipt of the miner shipment for January. The company is considering different strategies to make use of the expected capacity at its Corsicana facility for increased hash rates. As for the Texas facilities, Riot is assessing its repair options and will offer more details on deployment schedules as soon as they become available.

On the infrastructure front, the company has recently finished the construction of one of its advanced air-cooled structures, Building D. External water systems are still being developed to improve the building’s evaporative cooling system. The installation of outside wall louvres, construction of interior water frames, and electrical testing are all underway, as Riot’s construction and engineering teams continue to develop Building E.

Riot also claimed to have sold 700 Bitcoins for roughly $13.7 million in January, and as of January 31, it had 6,978 Bitcoin in its possession. It must be noted that Riot’s Chief Commercial Officer Chad Everett Harris has only recently left the organization. A regulatory filing made on February 1 states that his termination was without cause.

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