Riot reports 17K miners offline due to Texas weather
Crypto mining firm Riot Platforms — formerly Riot Blockchain — reported that 17,040 rigs deployed at its operations in Texas were offline due to “severe winter weather” in the state.
According to a Feb. 6 announcement, Riot reported two of the buildings at its Whinstone facility in Rockdale, Texas were damaged in December 2022 as the state experienced days of sub-zero temperatures. From Dec. 22 to Dec. 25, temperatures across many parts of Texas — and the United States — dropped to below freezing.
“Some sections of piping in Buildings F and G were damaged during the severe winter storms in Texas in late December,” said Riot CEO Jason Les. “As a result of this damage, our previously announced target of reaching 12.5 [exahashes per second] in total hash rate capacity in Q1 2023 is expected to be delayed.”
Les said that the damages initially lowered the facility’s hash rate capacity by 2.5 EH/s, with the company later able to restore 0.6 EH/s following repairs. According to Riot, there were 82,656 rigs running with a hash rate capacity of 9.3 EH/s as of Jan. 31, when the company reported producing 740 Bitcoin (BTC) — worth roughly $17 million at the time of publication.
Though many parts of the United States experienced severe temperature drops in December amid holiday travel, major cities in Texas including Dallas and Austin also went through a major ice storm in early February. Thousands of residents were without power and many tree branches and limbs broke from the weight of accumulated ice, damaging power lines and cars, and blocking roads.
How bad is it? Massive trees are snapping due to the icy conditions.
As of Thursday morning, 150k+ Austin Energy customers remain without power.
Austin Energy will hold a press conference at 9 am. We’ll be streaming it live on @cbsaustin
— John-Carlos Estrada (@Mr_JCE) February 2, 2023
It’s unclear whether Riot miners were similarly affected by the storm. However, the company did not report curtailing operations due to demand on Texas’ energy grid during the recent freeze.
Riot also reported selling 700 BTC for roughly $13.7 million in January, with the company holding 6,978 BTC as of Jan. 31. The mining firm reported selling coins following extreme heat in the Lone Star State in July 2022.
Related: Crypto miners in Texas shut down operations as state experiences extreme heat wave
In July 2022, Riot said it planned to move many of its mining rigs from a New York facility to Texas in an effort to reduce the firm’s operating expenses. Shares of Riot stock closed down 2.3% at $6.68 on the Nasdaq.
Cointelegraph reached out to Riot Platforms, but did not receive a response at the time of publication.