DARLINGTON TWP. — A company specializing in cryptocurrency mining plans to power a new data center in Beaver County using natural gas.
The Darlington Township Board of Supervisors is considering whether to approve a conditional use application filed by WT Data Mining and Science Corp. to put generators and ancillary equipment on a natural gas site at 363 Enon Road for the purpose of Bitcoin mining.
Geopetro LLC, based in Worthington, Ohio, owns the active Enon Road operation and has purchased dozens of wells in Beaver, Lawrence and Butler counties in recent years from producers including Chesapeake Appalachia and PennEnergy Resources. Geopetro would lease the space to WT Data for at least two years with possible extensions. It would be WT’s only gas-powered site.
Cryptocurrency mining is the energy-intensive process of extracting digital money by solving complex puzzles via supercomputers. Oil and natural gas offers these companies a cheaper alternative to electricity on the power grid – many capitalize on unused stranded gas to operate.
“The gas operation on this site does not change at all at this point,” said Adam Reiss, Geopetro’s director of resource planning and development, at a Nov. 8 township hearing on the proposal. “The operation will remain exactly the same.”
Township residents and homeowners last week shared concerns about excessive noise coming from the data center and generators. WT Data representatives said they plan to build sound barriers and would consider third-party testing. Residents shouldn’t expect “any ambient noise level beyond what already exists on Route 51,” they added.
“I think it’s going to be exceptionally loud,” said resident Danielle Miller. “I moved to where I moved on Enon Road to get away from noise. I moved there for the quiet. I want to hear the birds and the owls at night…I’m going to go absolutely crazy because I have many health issues including anxiety and depression.”
The township board will make its decision at a meeting within 45 days of Nov. 8. Regular meetings are held at 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month in the township building located at 3590 Darlington Road.
This article originally appeared on Beaver County Times: Company plans to power Bitcoin mining with natural gas in Darlington Twp.