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Lake Placid may put moratorium on cryptomine operators

April 13, 2018
By GRIFFIN KELLY - Staff Writer ( , Lake Placid News

LAKE PLACID - With the growing possibility of cryptominers setting up shop here, the village could place an 18-month moratorium on the industry similar to Plattsburgh's.

A public hearing on the matter will take place Monday, May 7. The moratorium can only go into effect after a public hearing, so the soonest it could start is May 8.

At the Monday, April 2 village board meeting, Mayor Craig Randall said having businesses that require high levels of electricity puts the energy field at risk.

Lake Placid runs off an allocated amount of hydroelectric energy from the New York Power Authority. Once the village goes past that amount, it must purchase energy off the free market, which costs substantially more. Power bills are relatively low in Lake Placid, and therefore many buildings have electric heating.

"Certain months of the year," Randall said, "we go well beyond our allocated power."

Energy bills for Lake Placid were higher than usual this winter. As of now, Randall and the rest of the board think cryptomines would only exacerbate those costs.

NYPA has instated its own moratorium as well, not on cryptomining per se but on "high-density loads," which NYPA defines as entities that consume a minimum of 250 kilowatt hours per square foot per year.

There are currently no known cryptomines in Lake Placid. Village trustee Jason Leon questioned whether the board could just ban them.

Village attorney Janet Bliss clarified that a moratorium needs specific reasoning and that it isn't just an 18-month ban on cryptomines. Research needs to be conducted within that time of whether cryptomines would be appropriate for Lake Placid, she said.

Randall said the he has already started investigating cryptomining and that he made contact with Ryan Brienza, who owns and operates one of the two mines that was grandfathered into Plattsburgh's moratorium. Plattsburgh's moratorium went into affect after the city realized cryptomines accounted for 10 percent of its energy usage in February. City Mayor Colin Reed proposed the idea after many residents complained about their high electric bills.



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