El Salvador Powers Crypto Mining with Volcano Power
The President of El Salvador, Nayib Bukele, posted a video of the groundbreaking of a crypto mining project via power from a local volcano.
According to a Tweet from President Bukele, the nation started an ambitious project which utilizes renewable energy to power massive Bitcoin mines. The post reads “First steps…” and shows an aerial view of a massive power plant at the foot of a volcano. Moreover, the video reveals shipping containers which house massive crypto mining rigs. An operator begins to plug in the machines as the video ends.
In a follow-up post, the self-proclaimed ‘coolest dictator in the world’ dubbed the project ‘Volcanode’.
President Follows Up with Promises
The post confirms President Bukele’s promise from June of 2021. He pledged to use volcanos as a renewable energy source for mining bitcoin. In addition, the nation became the first nation with bitcoin as legal tender with the President himself spearheading the move.
Bukele intends for low mining costs and environmental impact. Therefore he reached out to a government-owned geothermal electric company, LaGeo SA de CV for help. They plan to “offer facilities for Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, zero-emissions energy from our volcanoes.”
He added that “this is going to evolve fast!” This promise holds true, as the groundbreaking occurred four months after the idea surfaced.
According to the International Geothermal Association, around 25% of the country’s power comes from two geothermal fields in Ahuachapán and Berlín. The total capacity of these two fields was around 200 MW back in 2009 and LaGeo operates both. Numbers suggest that the total capacity of the country was around 300 MW in 2010.
Moreover, the Berlín field, operational since 2005, has the reputation of the most successful in Latin America. It has production volumes of 20-30 MW at a depth of around 1,000 m with temperatures reaching 300°C. These two sites are responsible for El Salvador 7th place ranking in total geothermal energy generated worldwide. as
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