ERCOT CEO Is Pro-Bitcoin, Ted Cruz Sees Mutually Beneficial Relationship Between Energy Grid and BTC

“I’m pro-Bitcoin… but I’m too risk-averse to be an investor in Bitcoin” – Brad Jones, Interim President/CEO of ERCOT

 

While touring the state and holding town halls with energy consumers, Brad Jones, Interim President and CEO of the infamous ERCOT, claimed that he is “pro-Bitcoin,” though he claimed he is too risk-averse to be an investor in Bitcoin. This claim was made while speaking with residents in Frisco, Texas, during his state-wide “listening tour.”


How Does This Impact the Average Texan?


ERCOT serves 90% of Texas’ energy market and is a market that has become a destination of choice for Bitcoin miners. The situation of having someone who is pro-Bitcoin at the helm of the entity in charge of nearly all of Texas’ energy grid may add to the prominence of the value of Texas’ ecosystem to the crypto mining community.


Synergy: Bitcoin and Texas’ Energy Grid


Brad Jones explained that there is significant potential for a mutually beneficial relationship between Bitcoin miners and the state of Texas. Simply put, Bitcoin miners need a lot of energy which the state can provide at competitive prices.


As ERCOT’s grid expects to increase output with plans of onboarding new renewable energy inputs, there will be more energy derived from renewable sources to go around. Mr. Jones noted that Bitcoin miners could “soak up” the excess power generated in times of low demand. If there is a situation where demand spikes (like the one experienced with the winter storm of February 2021), Bitcoin miners can turn off their machines in a flash and redirect their contracted power back to the grid to satisfy that demand, as discussed in our post “Synergy: Bitcoin Mining and Texas’ Power Grid.


This mutually beneficial relationship between Texas’ energy grid and Bitcoin miners is a sentiment shared by Senator Ted Cruz, according to his remarks at the 2021 Texas Blockchain Summit, hosted by the Texas Blockchain Council. Senator Cruz sees the synergy in such a mutually beneficial relationship by emphasizing collaboration between energy grids and Bitcoin miners to strengthen energy infrastructure by tapping into stranded renewables and other stranded energy sources to force demand to meet supply. In the case of Texas, outside of the abundance of untapped renewables, the potential for tapping into economically stranded natural gas wells is an added benefit.


What Senator Cruz means by leveraging stranded energy sources is that in remote places where there aren’t any power lines, so long as there is a way to connect to the internet, data centers (i.e., Bitcoin mining operations) can operate in these remote places. By leveraging stranded renewables such as solar, wind, hydropower, or even natural gas wells that aren’t economically viable for traditional energy production to power the facility, value can be created through something such as mining Bitcoin. Such a phenomenon provides an immense economic opportunity that companies are leveraging in West Texas with wind energy production. On the side of stranded natural gas wells, companies such as Canadian-based Upstream Data are positioning to bring new life to natural gas wells that otherwise wouldn’t provide economic value.

 

Looking for more information?


Bitcoin Magazine - Miners are the Optimal Buyers: The Data Behind Bitcoin-led Decarbonization in Texas


Fireside Chat with Senator Ted Cruz at 2021 Texas Blockchain Summit


CNBC - “Bitcoin miners say they’re helping to fix the broken Texas electric grid – and Ted Cruz agrees.”