Bitcoin (BTC) mining projects to harness Malawi’s clean and stranded excess hydro energy are gaining momentum. Gridless, the company behind the project, says it currently has “1,600 households connected to a remote hydro-powered mini-grid in the mountains of southern Malawi.”
1,600 households are connected to a remote hydropower mini-grid in the mountains of southern Malawi. They have 50kW of isolated energy that we are testing as a new Bitcoin mining site.
Video in context.
Work on ventilation, wiring, etc. continues. pic.twitter.com/Sxf8ABGPWH
— Gridless (@GridlessCompute) January 21, 2023
The project utilizes 50 kilowatts (kW) of isolated energy to test as a new Bitcoin mining site. Erik Hersman, his CEO and co-founder of Gridless, told Cointelegraph that although this is a brand new mining project, “the impact was felt immediately.”
“Electricity developers built these plants years ago, but they were largely unprofitable and could not afford to buy more meters to connect more families, so they expanded to more families. So our deal allowed them to quickly purchase another 200 meters to connect more families.”
Bitcoin miners are flexible but energy-hungry clients. These are plug-in-and-play solutions for surplus energy sources around the world. In Malawi, miners use environmentally friendly hydropower.
In Haasman’s words:
“Because it flows from a river, it has a very light environmental footprint. And bitcoin mining hasn’t changed that.”
This is Gridless’s second project to date in Sub-Saharan Africa. Late last year, a mining project in Kenya used surplus hydropower to connect remote communities.
Aside from the environment, bitcoin mining brings economic strength and employment opportunities to Malawi. Hersman explained that power load shedding is common in Malawi, but the 1,600 households using hydropower have no power issues.
“It is always amazing to see how useful and valuable mini-grids are to the community. [Bitcoin mining] Instantly transforming education, healthcare, business, logistics and community wealth. ”
Obi Nwosu, CEO of Fedimint and advisor to the board of directors of Gridless, also shed light on the story, saying, “The project in Malawi is one of the many examples I expect to see over the next few years. It is.”
“As always, they are humble people who roll up their sleeves and help talented local engineers do what they do best. This project will bring power and financial freedom to many.”
In 2023, Bitcoin miners are more likely to tap into stranded energies while empowering local communities. From the promise of geothermal bitcoin mining in El Salvador to balancing the load on the grid and maintaining jobs in Canada’s local communities, “a torrent of opportunities is coming their way,” Nwosu explains.
RELATED: 7 Bitcoin Miners Made the World a Better Place
Michael Thaler describes bitcoin mining as “an ideal high-tech industry to introduce into countries where clean energy is plentiful, but cannot export products or provide services with that energy.” This is an accurate summary of the project in Malawi.
Ultimately, this type of Bitcoin mining project resembles a partnership. Hersman sums it up: