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Kumamoto-Energy Uses Surplus Solar Electricity for Mining Cryptocurrencies

2018/02/24 18:26
Sousuke Kudou, technical writer & Kenji Kaneko, Nikkei BP Intelligence Group, CleanTech Institute
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A mega solar plant run by TakeEnergyCorporation, which is affiliated with Kumamoto-Energy (source: Nikkei BP)

Kumamoto-Energy Co Ltd (Kumamoto City), a local PPS (power producer and supplier), announced Feb 20, 2018, that it has launched a business of mining cryptocurrencies.

By mining cryptocurrencies for the output control of solar power generation, Kumamoto-Energy aims to effectively use surplus electricity. The company established OZ Mining (Minato-ku, Tokyo), an affiliate company that runs a business of mining cryptocurrencies, in November 2017.

OZ Mining stably purchases electricity from Kumamoto-Energy at a price of ¥10-19/kWh (depending on supply area, contract and season) and sets up data center-type mining facilities (mining farms) and container-type mining facilities, which can be installed anywhere as long as electricity is available, depending on customer needs. Also, it establishes and sells systems with which multiple miners cooperate in mining.

Cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin keep data by recording and updating them on distributed ledgers called block chains. The recording and updating operations are called mining. Cryptocurrencies are paid as a reward for consuming computing resources and power for mining and contributing to maintaining cryptocurrency networks.

Kumamoto-Energy is affiliated with TakeEnergyCorporation Co Ltd (Kikuyo-machi, Kumamoto Prefecture), which develops new energies. Kumamoto-Energy retails electricity, and the amount of power contracts that it has made so far is more than 1.3M, as of February 2018. TakeEnergyCorporation runs mega solar plants in Yamato-cho, Kumamoto Prefecture, etc (See related article 1, 2).