Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Bitcoin mining company is leaving the Montana coal-fired power plant it helped revive

Bitcoin's price has risen sharply since earlier this month, when a split took place that created "bitcoin classic" and "bitcoin cash."

A bitcoin mining company that revived a coal-fired power plant near southeastern Montana’s Crow reservation is relocating, citing a promise to go carbon-neutral.

Marathon Digital Holdings announced Tuesday that it will move its mining servers away from the plant in Hardin to locations where it can tap non-carbon-emitting power.

Bitcoin is a type of cryptocurrency, a digital form of value exchanged like dollars. Andmining it uses a lot of power: in Marathon’s case from a coal-fired plant that Delaware-based owner Beowulf had been prepared to close several years ago before it struck an agreement with Marathon. Marathon's data center is the only recipient of energy from the Hardin Generating Station.

Related: Can Our Climate Survive Bitcoin? (Reveal podcast)

In a news release, Marathon’s CEO says the decision to move is part of a company-wide transition toward carbon free power stations with a goal of going 100% carbon neutral by the end of 2022.

Marathon does not specify where the servers are moving and did not reply to a request for comment by the story's deadline. According to a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, Marathon is planning to move away from Hardin by September.

Kayla writes about energy policy, the oil and gas industry and new electricity developments.