Pennsylvania-based Stronghold Digital Mining has announced the completion of two $105 million private equity deals.
The company's first power generation facility, the Scrubgrass Generation Plant in Venango County, converts waste coal into energy at a scale equivalent to a "large-scale hydroelectric plant," which is then used to mine bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, according to a report to the Cointelegraph.
Stronghold's waste coal processes were derived from 19th and 20th century coal mining. Stronghold's power generation processes allow it to reclaim large areas of land that have been destroyed by acid drainage of waste coal.
Acid drainage is described as a process in which rain or snow mixes with the sulfur contained in coal waste, allowing it to enter aquatic systems and threaten aquatic life. Once the waste coal is removed, Stronghold also plans to donate the reclaimed land to the local community.
Working in partnership with local environmental agencies, Stronghold has already reclaimed 1,000 acres of land in Pennsylvania that local authorities had called "unusable." In addition to removing more than 98% of the mercury, NOx and SO2, the process generates fly ash that can be used as fertilizer.
The company estimates that for every bitcoin mined, 200 tons of waste coal is generated. Stronghold hopes to have more than 28,000 cryptocurrency miners operating by 2022, and is in talks to acquire facilities with more than 200 megawatts of capacity. Stronghold estimates Stronghold has enough waste coal reserves for approximately 30 years of continuous mining.
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