A couple of years ago I wrote a post for Upstate Venture Connect about how the City of Plattsburgh adopted a moratorium on the expansion of mining for cryptocurrency due to the amount of energy companies were consuming and the price consequences for the town.
It appears that battle continues.The price of energy is a substantial part of a mining operation's overhead. "Companies like Coinmint chose to come to the North Country because of the relatively low electricity prices here, thanks in large part to the hydropower dam on the St. Lawrence River in Massena.", remarked North Country Public Radio.
Indeed, just a few years ago Plattsburgh was abuzz with optimism that these tech companies might bring much needed jobs to the community. When the consumption of energy by mining operations resulted in an increase of electric bills for residents, the City stepped in and put a stop to further expansion. That moritorium was lifted in February 2019.
Now, Coinmint finds itself in court fighting a security deposit charge by the City of Plattsburgh of over one million dollars. The security deposit represents an "estimate of what would cover two months of electricity use if a company were to leave town without paying its electric bills," according to Plattsburgh Municipal Lighting Department (PMLD). Coinmint is disputing the accuracy of the estimate claiming that it is deeply flawed.
A challenge before the New York State Public Service Commission resulted in a favorable ruling fort he PMLD. Coinmint is now appealing that decision.
Coinmint also operates in Messina, NY, and recently was evicted from a second operation in Plattsburgh. It has indicated that further expansion efforts would likely not consider Plattsburgh due to high energy costs creating some uncertainty about the future of crypto mining in the City.
Today, Coinmint is fighting a legal battle to avoid paying the city’s electric utility more than $1 million owed for a security deposit. In addition to that dispute, a local property manager says the firm was evicted from one of its Plattsburgh locations.