Removing problems with the surplus of electricity through the so-called cryptocurrency mining will allow preserving the guaranteed load on nuclear power plants (NPP) and involving additional funds as well, the Ministry of Energy and Environmental Protection has said.
“We can really transform the liability into the asset. We have a surplus of nuclear generation. One of the modern tools for using excess electricity is to redirect it to Cryptocurrency Mining. This not only provides for preserving a guaranteed load on NPPs, but it will also allow enterprises to involve additional funds,”
the ministry said in a statement on its website.
The ministry said that solving the problem with the surplus of electricity through cryptocurrency mining opens the way to a radically new economy and new approaches. The Energy Ministry also said that it is currently considering the possibility of creating data processing centers near NPP.
“A pilot project has been developed at Energoatom to connect data processing centers’ consumers with a generating capacity of up to 1,000 MW to transmission lines, with the allocation of the first stage of 30 MW in Energodar satellite town of Zaporizhia NPP,” the ministry said in the statement.
The project provides for the creation of new infrastructure for power generation – ORU-750 kV switchyard – in Zaporizhia NPP for long-term electricity supplies to meet the needs of data processing center, the ministry said, indicating that in the future such projects could become self-sufficient, as well as begin implementing digitalization goals earlier set by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky.
National Nuclear Generating Company Energoatom said on its website that in addition to the project with Zaporizhia NPP, it is considering the possibility of constructing a data processing center with a capacity of up to 50 MW with its further increase of over 200 MW near Rivne NPP.
The company said that it was studying the possibility of creating the centers in the areas adjacent to NPPs, long before the crisis in the energy sector. However, in the current conditions, after revising the forecast balance of the power system, the idea has gained even greater relevance.
“Thanks to the implementation of these projects, the company expects to ensure power output by nuclear power plants in the dispatch mode due to the guaranteed load from the data processing centers,” the company said in the statement.
The company said that thanks to the ability to flexibly change the consumption of data processing centers, it is possible to use them for maneuverability and balancing the power system. An example is the Canadian center Alberta Electric System Operator, which is a player of the electricity market and support services in the province of Alberta.
Energoatom said that the implementation of such projects will create the conditions for launching and developing a virtual asset market in Ukraine.
The company said that it has the ability to solve all technical issues related to the construction of data processing center, but sees difficulties due to the lack of a permit for NPP to sell electricity under direct contracts (with the establishment of an appropriate direct connection tariff for electricity). Energoatom said that this issue requires a legislative settlement.