The second Canadian province has introduced restrictions for cryptocurrency miners due to the potential increase in the load on the power grid in winter.
The authorities of the Canadian province of Manitoba have temporarily banned new connections of mining companies to the hydroelectric grid. This is reported by the local edition of Global News with reference to the Minister of Finance of Manitoba Cameron Friesen.
The restrictions will last eighteen months and will not affect the miners who have already deployed their capacities. It is reported that the reason for the temporary ban was the potential excessive demand for electricity in winter and the low economic return from mining due to the collapse of the crypto market.
"We can't just say, 'Take whatever you want, and we'll just build dams.' The last such construction cost CAD $13 billion," Friesen said.
Manitoba has long remained the second most popular province among miners after Quebec due to the cheapness of tariffs. Friesen added that seventeen more mining companies have recently applied to the authorities to allocate over 370 MW of electricity for their needs. He did not specify which companies he was talking about.
In addition to low financial returns, mining companies do not contribute to job growth. As Friesen said, mining companies can consume "hundreds of megawatts and have a handful of workers."
Earlier, the Canadian electricity supplier Hydro-Québec called on the government of the province of Quebec to limit the supply of electricity to miners. According to the company, by 2023, the province is projected to increase electricity consumption by 14%.
In order to contain the load on the power grid, Hydro-Québec proposed not to allocate additional 270 MW of electricity to miners in the short term. It is not clear which companies we are talking about. According to media reports, there are at least three public mining companies operating in the Canadian province: Bitfarms (BITF), Hive Blockchain (HIVE) and Argo Blockchain (ARBK).