Using SCADA to Digitize the Texas Power Grid

SCADA-Texas-Crypto-Mining SCADA-Texas-Crypto-Mining

Experts predict that the Bitcoin network's energy use in the United States and worldwide could increase significantly over the next five years, adding many gigawatts to the demand. Texas is becoming the national hub for cryptocurrency mining companies and individuals. Texas is "business-friendly" and power generation costs are lower than in other states and that is one of the main draws for these companies to locate their cryptocurrency mining operations in Texas.  With concerns increasing about utilities' carbon footprints, there is a growing push within the cryptocurrency industry to reimagine crypto-mining systems as potential grid assets that can help balance demand and encourage renewable energy.

There are many cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin is the most popular for market capitalization and energy consumption. Mining is a process that involves solving complex math problems. This allows them to validate new entries on a distributed ledger called the blockchain and be rewarded with Bitcoin. The system is designed so that calculations become more difficult, while the supply of Bitcoin remains stable. Solving these problems requires increasing amounts of energy from large data farms.

What SCADA Systems, Power Generation, and Crypto Mining

SCADA for electric power transmission distribution (T&D market) includes hardware, software, as well as services. Hardware can include PLCs and industrial PCs as well as controllers, RTUs, and IEDs. MTUs and communication devices are excluded. Transformers, voltage regulators, and billing metering are also included. This includes interaction with wholesale energy and ancillary markets. However, it does not include billing metering or any software. SCADA Systems for electric energy includes:

  • Automation of substations at transmission, generation, and distribution sites
  • EMS (Energy Management Systems), and TMS (Transmission Management Systems).
  • DMS (Distribution Management Systems), and ADMS (Advanced Distribution Management Systems).
  • OMS (Outage Management Systems).
  • DRMS (Distributed Resource Management System) and DERMS [Distributed Energy Resource Management Systems]
  • HMI (Human Machine Interface),/GUI (Graphical User Interface), and data logging
  • Support services for engineering and design including simulation, programming, communication, training, maintenance, and support
The evolution of the crypto-mining market is moving at warp speed as companies clammer to develop sites, establish reliable power sources, and prepare for the future of this budding industry.  With Texas being on the forefront of these operations BLTI is working with customers to design, develop and build the SCADA systems required to help this industry flourish long into the future.  
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