The power consumption debate about the eminent blockchain technology and mining cryptocurrencies has caught a lot of heat recently. Even if we take out the amount of power consumption by these bleeding edge technologies from the equation, the carbon print attributed to general power accumulation through coal and fossil fuel reserves is humongous. Throw in the amount of power used by crypto mining rigs, ding ding ding! You have got yourselves a global catastrophe just waiting to happen! However, do not panic, because this does not exactly imply that the world is about to end. Environmentalists, researchers and analysts, all of them suggest a single solution. Incorporation of systems that consume power generated from renewable sources. Granted these energy sources are available at limited sites and are dependent on nature, but they are sustainable, scalable and eco-friendly, so it is rendered to be the safest path to take in terms of electricity production.
Amidst this alarming and potentially slightly life-threatening situation, many of the technologists have taken initiative to lessen the carbon impact produced by mining crypto and blockchain on Earth. One of many startups created by these innovators in Soluna.
Soluna is a startup created by the private equity firm Brookstone partners, who purchased 37,000 acres of land for the purposes of installing wind turbines in Southern Morocco to generate eco-friendly energy in order mine cryptocurrencies as well as support different blockchain platforms. The mission of this company is to promote the use of clean, green, sustainable and reliable source of energy to mine crypto. The company plans to become the backbone of the blockchain ecosystem by developing the necessary means, the wind turbines, to enable an off-grid, onsite high density computing. In the future, where most of the applications are predicted to be blockchain based, and the ecosystem to be decentralized, the production of power using these renewable sources is becoming exceedingly imminent.
A number of experienced professional boasting high credentials resumes have been incorporated in the team of Soluna. These experts have an extremely important role to play in leading the company. The CEO of Soluna is John Belizaire, founder of numerous startups, an avid investor and senior advisor to a number of startups companies in the US. The team also consists of Dipul Patel, the CTO, founder of ecovent and an Alumnus of ivy leagues like Penn and MIT. The company ecovent targeted production of wireless systems to remotely control temperature of a house. The advisory committee comprises of valued and respected government leaders as well as experts in the field of crypto mining and blockchain industry. This includes former U.S. Ambassador to The Kingdom of Morocco, Dwight L. Bush and the UC Berkeley’s Computer Scientist, who is also a faculty member at Cornell Tech, Ari Juels.
A Modular Approach
We are living in an age of prosperity, with everyday bringing forth a cutting edge technological reform. In this era, technologies and hardware especially become obsolete with the introduction of newer ones. Therefore, it has an implication on every new venture that a drive be created in the bigger systems to easily accommodate these changes. The pods that have been incorporated in the project have been particularly designed to cater to this issue and support modularity. The division in the architecture will allow changes to be made with ease. Along with that, a flexible system has been integrated that would allow the company to adapt to a number of varying business requirements.
With the growing adoption of blockchain technology in various sectors, the computation costs have been increasing as well. This calls for a sustainable growth in the resources to power up these systems. Soluna states on its Whitepaper,
With nearly one gigawatt of energy potential owned by Soluna at its site in Morocco, Soluna believes its ability to scale its operations will be unrivaled in the crypto economy. Soluna has the potential to capitalize on efficiencies that can only be achieved at utility scale.
The total capacity of the wind farm is 900 MW of wind power. This location is ideal for installation of a power plant and is classified a Class 1 wind site which implies that it has an average wind speed of at least 10 m/s. The 37,000 acre land that Soluna has acquired, is to be equipped in a modular fashion with pods. The modular approach is designed to ensure flexibility as well as scalability because of the constant upgradation in the mining equipment.
What are pods?
A Pod is an amalgam of working equipment comprising of 6 turbines, 3 batteries and 11 750 kW containers. Each pod has the capacity to produce 12 MW of power, half of which is utilized by the crypto mining facility. The mining rigs are currently being equipped with the ASIC miners, however Soluna may also incorporate GPU miners to promote flexibility.
Soluna has divided its entire operation into phases. Currently it has begun its Phase 1, which involves the successful installation of three pods. However, the total number of pods that can planted in the entire area is 75. The power capacity of these pods is almost of 36MW and 18MW of crypto-mining facilities with an astonishing ability to produce 160,882-tera hash per second. The institution is backed by Brookstone partners for now financially, however, in the future more phases will come to pass which will be funded by either internally generated capital or through future capital raises.
In the years to come, it can be estimated that a number of applications of blockchain technology will increase exponentially. The power consumption will increase along with it. Soluna with its aim to provide clean green energy to power mining rigs and carry out other blockchain related operation as well as enabling individuals to utilize the power which is generated in excess, intends to transform the ecosystem of blockchain. The company has now only begun its phase 1, but it claims to be able to power one quarter of entire bitcoin mining facility once the installation of 75 pods is complete.