Greenidge permit renewal delayed as company debates with regulators

Quick Take

  • The New York Department of Environmental Conservation has delayed the final decision on crypto miner Greenidge’s air permit renewal application.
  • Greenidge sent a letter to the agency on March 25 arguing that their Dresden plant was already compliant with state environmental regulations.

A final decision on the permit renewal for Greenidge’s upstate New York crypto mining facility has been pushed back to June 30.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation announced on Thursday that it would start reviewing new greenhouse gas (GHG) emission mitigation measures proposed by Greenidge in a letter dated March 25.

The agency had previously told Greenidge that additional steps were needed to meet the requirements set by New York's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act (CLCPA), signed into law in 2019.

In the letter, Greenridge proposed that two limitations be added to the permit. Firstly, a 40% greenhouse gas emissions reduction of its Dresden facility from the current permitted level by the end of 2025. Secondly, a requirement to be a zero-carbon emitting power generation facility by 2035.

Greenidge maintains that it is already compliant with the CLCPA. The company argues that a denial over emissions standards "defies logic" because GHG emissions limits in the CLCPA would only need to be achieved years after the new permit would expire.

The company said its 106-megawatt facility in Dresden only made up “a fraction” of electricity generation in New York and that it had reduced the plant's combined upstream and onsite GHG emissions by roughly 70% when compared to the 1990 baseline set in the CLCPA.

Cornell professor Anthony Ingraffea, who testified during a State Assembly public hearing last year on mining and climate change, told The Block on first review of the letter: “I have no idea how they could possibly reduce their CO2 emissions by 40% below their current permit without seeing details.”

Ingraffea said it would be important to have a clear roadmap for when and how the company plans to achieve this.

“The devil is in the details,” Ingraffea said. “They say by the end of 2025. Are they going to start doin