Bitcoin Mining to Reduce the Renewable Curtailment: A Case Study of Caiso

8 Pages Posted: 16 Aug 2019

See all articles by Rui Shan

Rui Shan

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Gillings School of Global Public Health; Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Yaojin Sun

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Haslam College of Business

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Date Written: August 7, 2019

Abstract

The enormous energy demand from Bitcoin mining is a considerable burden to achieve the climate agenda and the energy cost is the major operation cost. On the other side, with high penetration of renewable resources, the grid makes curtailment for reliability reasons, which reduces both economic and environment benefits from renewable energy. Deploying the Bitcoin mining machines at renewable power plants can mitigate both problems. Here we present a case study on CAISO, analyzing the profitability of such solution. The simulation tells the system can earn 5.6–48.1 million dollars in 2018 and reduce 50.8%–79.9% of the curtailment. The probability to make profits, with volatile bitcoin price and mining difficulty, is positively correlated with the capacity factor of the mining machines. However, there is a tradeoff between curtailment usage rate and machines’ capacity factor. To reduce more curtailment, the system will deploy more machines and more sensitive to the Bitcoin market.

Keywords: Bitcoin mining, Curtailment

Suggested Citation

Shan, Rui and Sun, Yaojin, Bitcoin Mining to Reduce the Renewable Curtailment: A Case Study of Caiso (August 7, 2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3436872 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3436872

Rui Shan

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill - Gillings School of Global Public Health ( email )

Chapel Hill, NC 27599
United States

Oak Ridge National Laboratory ( email )

PO Box 2008
Mail Stop 6037
Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6037
United States

Yaojin Sun (Contact Author)

University of Tennessee, Knoxville - Haslam College of Business ( email )

453 Haslam Business Building
Knoxville, TN 37996-4140
United States

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