Bitcoin Miner Digihost Completes Controversial Power Plant Acquisition, Doubling Energy Capacity

Almost two years after first announcing the planned acquisition of a natural gas power plant in the state of New York, bitcoin mining firm Digihost (DGHI) said it has completed the purchase.

The Toronto-based firm was able to pay for the plant with cash, so avoided taking on debt or diluting existing shareholders' equity, CEO Michel Amar said in a Wednesday press release. In March 2021, the company said it would pay $4.25 million in cash and stock. It hadn't responded to requests about the final price by publication time.

By securing a power generation asset, Digihost can better control its energy costs and sell power to the grid at times of peak demand. However, input costs will depend on the variable cost of natural gas.

The plant is capable of generating 60 MW, bringing the firm's energy capacity to 100 MW, or about 2 exahash/second (EH/s) of mining computing power. The initial power generation run rate will be about 50 MW, it said in a January statement.

Environmental groups have filed a lawsuit over the approval of the power plant sale. They argue that the plant will work 24/7, thus "increasing its greenhouse gas emissions up to 3,500% even as the rest of New York works to drastically reduce its greenhouse gas emissions."

Digihost "believes that year round, the plant will continue to provide electrical power to the grid on demand in order to meet customers needs during extreme weather conditions and will also continue to run the plant as a peaker plant," according to the January statement. Peaker plants are turned on when demand for energy is high and are usually fossil fuel-powered.