Crypto Mining Problems - CIMView

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Crypto Mining Problems

Table of Contents

The Gist

If crypto mining takes off in ERCOT to a multi-GW scale it could pose reliability problems given the way that crypto miners respond to price (or at least how they are perceived to respond to price).  As crypto miners are not profitable over $100/MWh (very rough, obviously the exact number depends on current price of crypto being mined, hash rate of mining rig, etc.) and (apparently) have the ability to turn themselves off (virtually) instantly without damaging their equipment, ERCOT could face a situation where very large amounts of load are turning themselves off or on simultaneously  such that ERCOTs RegUp and RegDown reserves get overwhelmed and frequency gets impacted.  This would be fixed if the loads 1) Placed bids into SCED rather than dispatching themselves and 2) moved on a five minute ramp rather than instantly.  One possible solution (proposed by me) would be to offer them the same energy weighted price that generation gets if they allowed themselves to be dispatched by SECD and hold to reasonable ramps.  Other solutions that have been proposed are to just force them to do that, or to move to a 1-minute SCED (which ERCOT doesn’t think is doable).

Important Actions

  • 11/3/21 Clayton Greer (Morgan Stanley) introduces topic at WMS
  • 12/17/21 Energy-weighted price carrot idea proposed by Steve Reedy at WMWG
  • 1/5/22 Reliabilty/Market Task Force reporting to TAC proposed at WMS
  • 1/31/22 TAC discusses creation of task force, decides it needs until March 2022 TAC meeting to come up with scope and form task force
  • 3/30/22 Large Flexible Load Task Force officially created
  • 4/14/22 First meeting


Meeting Notes

3/30/22 TAC

2/23/22 TAC

1/31/22 TAC

1/28/22 WMWG

1/5/22 WMS

12/17/22 WMWG

11/15/21 WMWG

11/3/21 WMS