A public-private partnership in El Salvador pledging to pump $1 billion into creating a Bitcoin (BTC) mining farm has received its first $250 million. This first release of funds kickstarts a 241-megawatt (MW) power generation park in the country’s Metapán region.
Volcano Energy, the company behind the site, said the funds would go toward developing the power generation park using solar and wind energy, which will eventually power the Bitcoin mining operation. Volcano Energy chairman Max Keiser took to Twitter on June 7 to announce the news.
Bitcoin mining uses high-power computers hooked up to a global network, using massive amounts of electricity in the process. The energy-intensive practice has come under fire from environmentalists, who are concerned that it exacerbates forest loss and climate change.
Stablecoin issuer Tether is among the investors in the first funding round to develop Volcano Energy, although its investment figure is undisclosed. Tether chief technology officer Paolo Ardoino said the investment marks the stablecoin issuer’s intent to drive investment in renewable energy production and mining infrastructure.
According to Volcano Energy, the 241-MW power generation capacity will be divided between 169 MWs of photovoltaic solar energy and 72 MWs of wind energy. According to Tether, the computing power of the park is estimated to exceed 1.3 exahashes per second. If achieved, this would position Volcano Energy’s cumulative Bitcoin mining hash rate among the top 20 pools worldwide.
According to Volcano Energy, the park is a pioneering example of Bitcoin mining driven by renewable energy, reflecting the industry’s constant innovation and growth in a competitive landscape:
“Flip the script on traditional finance. Volcano Energy is powering the Bitcoin revolution in El Salvador with renewable energy.“
The Salvadoran government will play a crucial role in the planning and execution of the initiative, securing preferred participation equivalent to 23% of revenues. The investors will own 27%, with the remaining 50% reinvested in expanding energy production capacity and advancing Bitcoin mining.
Keiser, a Bitcoin advocate and podcaster, plays a pivotal role in El Salvador’s adoption initiatives, serving as an adviser to President Nayib Bukele and chairman at Volcano Energy.
The Central American country continues efforts to drive Bitcoin adoption after becoming the first nation to make BTC legal tender in 2021.