Canadian electricity provider Hydro- Québec will temporarily cease processing requests from cryptocurrency miners in order to ensure sufficient energy supply to the province.
Blockchain companies are currently placing a great deal of pressure on the utility through unprecedented demand, exceeding short and medium-term capacity.
Quebec provincial government has ordered the adoption of a new framework for this category of consumers.
In the coming days, Hydro-Québec will reportedly file an application to local energy regulator Régie de l'énergie, proposing a selection process for blockchain industry projects so as “not to miss the opportunities offered by this industry.”
Regulators will reportedly target companies which can offer the province the most profitable economic advantages, including investments and local job creation.
Régie de l'énergie will consider “the need for a reserved block of energy for this category of consumers, the possibility of maximising Hydro-Québec's revenues, and issues related to the winter peak period.”
According to Éric Filion, president of Hydro-Québec Distribution:"The blockchain industry is a promising avenue for Hydro-Québec. Guidelines are nevertheless required to ensure that the development of this industry maximises spinoffs for Québec without resulting in rate increases for our customers. We are actively participating in the Régie de l'énergie's process so that these guidelines can be produced as quickly as possible."
This move differs from the government’s initial stance to open the electricity market to miners, the view being that cryptocurrency mining at a discount without any sort of “added value” for the local economy was unfavorable.