Chelan PUD Commissioners set new fees and charges for unauthorized power use

 

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Commissioners will review the application moratorium for bitcoin mining and similar data operations and take comment at a public hearing at 1 p.m. on May 14, at the Confluence Technology Center.

On Monday, Chelan County PUD Commissioners set new fees and charges for unauthorized cryptocurrency mining users, but will give amnesty to those operators who shut down and notify the PUD before May

The decision authorizes the fees and charges to be in effect immediately.

This action was taken as the PUD staff continues to find two to three unauthorized cryptocurrency mining operations a day. John Stoll, Customer Utilities Managing Director, reported to the Board that the staff discovered and shut off power to three unauthorized operations last week.

One was in a South Wenatchee commercial space; another in a west Wenatchee rental and a third, in the forest off Hwy.2.

This operation was near the Nason Creek Rest Area in an outbuilding connected to a remote home “by a bundle of extension cords.” It was a troubling find because of the high fire risk.

Unauthorized users face fees of up to $6,150 for an in-home mining operation and $11,400 for a mining operation in commercial or light industrial space Unauthorized operations will lose power immediately if it is determined that it is a safety hazard. The unauthorized users will be assessed all charges and potentially face prosecution for power theft.

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The Commissioners have extended an amnesty period for assessing fees until May 14 in cases where customers without authorized service, and no history of High Density Load (HDL) use or suspected use, stop mining immediately and notify the PUD prior to hearing from the utility.

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The new fees are:

For all unauthorized service

  • $1,400 – metering & monitoring
  • $2,000 – investigation & enforcement

 In addition, for unauthorized operations in homes

  • $1,000 – residential security deposit
  • $1,750  – residential equipment degradation

Or, in addition, for unauthorized operations in commercial and industrial spaces

  • $4,700 – Commercial equipment degradation (overhead service)
  • $8,000 – Commercial equipment  degradation (underground service)

Commissioners will review the application moratorium for bitcoin mining and similar data operations and take comment at a public hearing at 1 p.m. on May 14, at the Confluence Technology Center.

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