Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

On The Brink with Castle Island

Jun 27, 2022

Blake King, power markets engineer at Galaxy, formerly of Oak Ridge national lab and ERCOT, joins us to talk about how changing grids are accommodating an influx of load from Bitcoin miners. In this episode: 

  • Why the grid is undergoing a radical transformation today
  • Blake’s background in electrical engineering, power system modeling, and renewable development
  • The origin of Blake’s papers on bitcoin mining and the grid
  • Bitcoiner misconceptions about mining?
  • Why Bitcoin is not a battery
  • Why you can’t just arbitrarily add load to the grid
  • Why Bitcoin mining does not generally increase energy prices during scarcity or peak load
  • Why rational actors curtail or sell power during scarcity events
  • Are grid planning models correctly estimating the risk of furloughing thermal generation?
  • Is it possible to make the green energy transition as currently envisioned?
  • Why renewable generation requires more transmission
  • How renewable generation costs are increasingly upfront as compared to thermal generation
  • Are bitcoiners overrating the importance of controllable load?
  • Why Bitcoin miners may be over ambitious in terms of modeling ancillary service payments
  • Are ancillary markets going to increase in size with more renewable generation?
  • Economic demand response versus formal ancillary services
  • Different types of ancillary services products
  • Why load resources are able to bid out thermal generation in ancillary services markets
  • How exactly Bitcoin miners get signals to curtail their load during scarcity events
  • Does being a load resource imply ‘voluntary’ curtailment?
  • Why miners owe it to the grid operator to be transparent in their breakeven price and operating plans
  • How weather in Texas could affect block arrival times in Bitcoin
  • Why the commodification of ASICs would increase the integration of the renewable energy sector and bitcoin mining
  • Why ERCOT hit the pause button on the addition of new mining loads
  • ERCOTs level of sophistication around Bitcoin mining
  • Will miners toggle between Bitcoin, green hydrogen, and other location-agnostic uses of power?
  • Do the economics of green hydrogen make sense relative to BTC mining?

Content mentioned in this episode: 

Intro and outro used with permission: Ocarina #968