Separately, the New York state Public Service Commission said Thursday that electricity costs for "high-density load customers" — primarily cryptocurrency companies — will increase beginning this month, while costs for customers using less electricity will normalize.
"Had the new rates been in place in January, the two cryptocurrency companies in Plattsburgh would have seen a more than 60 percent increase in their monthly electricity costs," the commission release said. The ruling was made in response to a petition from the New York Municipal Power Agency, an association of 36 municipal power authorities including that of Plattsburgh.
Plattsburgh's electricity rate as of January 2010 was as low as 2.37 cents per kilowatt-hour for large commercial customers using more than 6,000 kilowatt-hours a month, according to a document on the city's website. Residential rates ranged from 2.55 cents per kilowatt-hour to 4.53 cents, the document showed.
The general rule of thumb for those wanting to compete with Chinese miners is to keep electricity costs at 4 cents or less, said Shone Anstey, co-founder of Blockchain Intelligence Group.
The average U.S. rate is 10.27 cents per kilowatt-hour, and 14.47 in New York state broadly, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration.
Low energy costs in upstate New York could encourage more business investment in the region.
"We are in the process of moving again since that space was maxed out at 26 kW," Plattsburgh BTC says in its website's "about us" section. "Plattsburgh is ideally situated for cryptocurrency mining as it has some of the cheapest electric rates in the country and has a cool climate."
Cryptocurrency mining company Coinmint's subsidiary, North Country Data Center, also operates in Plattsburgh and expects to expand its local staff from the current six to 10 to 15 permanent employees, according to a Jan. 30 New York Power Authority memorandum.
The data center is planning to expand to a former Alcoa East plant in Massena, New York, and intends to invest $165 million in the new operation, the memorandum said. Over the next two years, North Country Data Center says it will hire at least 150 full-time employees for positions such as security personnel, IT technicians and electricians with average wage and benefits of $46,000. NCDC has told the state that it plans to be fully operational by next June and ultimately expects to oversee 15 percent of the global cryptocurrency business.
New York Power Authority trustees approved a conditional 15,000 kilowatt allocation to the data center.