Story at a glance

  • NBC News on Monday published a report claiming local residents and critics blamed the power plant for increasing the temperature of the lake, as the facility draws water from Seneca Lake for cooling and discharges warmed water back into the body of water.
  • One resident reportedly said the water was “so warm you feel like you’re in a hot tub.”
  • Greenidge says there’s zero evidence the plant is causing harm to Seneca Lake and the facility operates in full compliance with its air and water permits.

A new report suggests a gas-fired power plant used to support cryptocurrency mining is threatening the environmental integrity of New York’s Seneca Lake, a claim the plant’s operator says is misleading. 

The power plant that sits on the shore of the lake is owned by private equity firm Atlas Holdings and operated by Greenidge Generation. 

The former coal plant was dormant for several years until 2017, when it was converted to a natural gas plant. In 2019, Greenidge began using the plant to supply power to a bitcoin mining facility and has reportedly been ramping up operations over the last year and a half. 

Bitcoin mining, which is how new bitcoins are released into circulation, requires complex computer systems and large amounts of computational power that uses a lot of electricity.


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

YOUNG GIRL BITTEN BY SHARK IN NORTH CAROLINA

SHARK SIGHTINGS AND ATTACKS UP AND DOWN THE EAST COAST

MICHAEL JORDAN CATCHES DOLPHINFISH IN $3.4M FISHING TOURNAMENT

MAN-SIZED HALIBUT REELED IN IN THE NORTH SEA

WOMAN PUNCHES CROCODILE TO SAVE HER TWIN SISTER


NBC News on Monday published a report claiming local residents and critics blamed the plant for increasing the temperature of the lake, as the facility draws water from Seneca Lake for cooling and discharges warmed water back into the body of water. 

One resident reportedly said the water was “so warm you feel like you’re in a hot tub.” Protesters demonstrated against the plant at a nearby Department of Environmental Conservation office last month. 

The facility is allowed to take in 139 million gallons of water daily and discharge 135 million gallons back into the lake. According to NBC News, the temperatures of the water going back into Lake Seneca are permitted to be as hot as 108 degrees Fahrenheit in the summer and 86 degrees in winter. The news outlet said the plant’s daily maximum discharge temperatures since 2017 have been 98 degrees in the summer and 70 degrees in winter. 

Greenidge, however, says its water intake and discharge levels are well below what’s permitted and have had zero impact on Seneca Lake, as the 135 million gallons discharged per day make up just 0.003 percent of the lake’s total volume. 

Greenidge says there’s no evidence the plant is causing harm to Seneca Lake and the facility operates in full compliance with its air and water permits, and is 100 percent carbon neutral through carbon offsets. 


America is changing faster than ever! Add Changing America to your Facebook or Twitter feed to stay on top of the news.


In response to the report, a local community advisory group working with Greenidge released a statement saying the suggestion the facility is negatively impacting the lake was false. 

“The NBC News pieces which ran this weekend were unfortunately based upon the previously discredited claims of the remaining few opponents of Greenidge,” the local advisory board said in a statement. 

“The very same people cited by NBC News have been opposing Greenidge for several years, offered nothing new, and have already had their arguments repeatedly and soundly rejected by the Courts of New York and by our neighbors,” the statement said. 

Editor's Note: This story was updated to include statements from Greenidge Generation. 


READ MORE STORIES FROM CHANGING AMERICA

MAJOR ELECTRIC COMPANIES URGE BIDEN TO CUT EMISSIONS 80 PERCENT WITHIN 10 YEARS

ALL NEW US VEHICLES COULD BE REQUIRED TO BE ELECTRIC BY 2035, NEW STUDY SAYS

OFFICIAL UNVEILS PLAN TO TURN NEW YORK CITY INTO WIND ENERGY MANUFACTURING HUB

JAGUAR GOING ALL ELECTRIC, LAND ROVER GOING MAJORITY ELECTRIC

PEPSI TARGETS NET-ZERO EMISSIONS BY 2040




Published on Jul 06, 2021