ABILENE, Texas (KTABKRBC) – In December 2021, the City of Abilene and Taylor County announced a $2.4 billion, 20-year-long partnership with Houston-based company Lancium. We know the tech and energy company promises to bring 57 jobs to the area and make a big financial impact over the next two decades, but there’s one question left: What do they actually do?
Executive Vice President at Lancium and spearhead of the Abilene project Eric Kutscha says the company is like a mediator of sorts between Texas energy and those that need it to mine cryptocurrency.
“We’re more the energy manager, and the Bitcoin companies, which want access to the power, have to follow the rules and regulations that we set up in our contracts for them,” says Kutscha.
Lancium intends to build the infrastructure needed to support the many computers’ and servers’ mining needs as well as a substation needed to power them. That being said, Lancium bills itself as an eco-minded company and wants to utilize the abundance of Texas’s renewable energy sources that, for now, are going wasted, as Kutscha explains:
“People will use the term ‘congested grid.’ Transmission lines are full, there’s not enough local load to consume, so the renewable solar, renewable wind [providers] are asked to dial down their output until the grid is ready receive more.”
The executive further explains that although Lancium is tied into the Texas Power Grid, it must follow direction from the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) on just how much power they can consume. For example, on days when there is more demand for power, like during the extreme heat or cold, the company can ‘ramp down’ its operations until the need passes.
“Part of the Lancium technology is we can reduce, do what’s called ‘ramping down,’ or even if necessary, turn off consumption until the grid says, ‘We finished our urgency and you’re ready to go again,'” says Kutscha.
Currently, construction on the 100,000 square foot Lancium facility is in the pre-groundbreaking stages, with a ceremony set to take place within the next month or so, says Kutscha.
After that begins, construction on the company’s on-site substation is set to start in the summer of 2022.