Texas’s power grid needs a bigger boost than anticipated to handle AI and Bitcoin mining

Texas has recently revised its projections regarding the amount of capacity required for its infrastructure, citing the demand for AI and bitcoin mining.

The political climate toward these two industries is deteriorating as a result of the growing demand for energy, while Trump is intensifying his advocacy for mining.

In order to accommodate the increasing demand from bitcoin processors and artificial intelligence data centers, Texas’ infrastructure will soon require a significant expansion. However, the political climate toward these industries may be deteriorating.

Pablo Vegas, the CEO of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which oversees the state’s power grid, stated during a Wednesday appearance before the Texas Senate Business and Commerce Committee that the grid is being put to the test by the demand from these two industries, necessitating a revision of the estimated energy production required by the end of the decade.

Local media have quoted Vegas as stating, “We are attempting to construct a problem that clarify the potential of this market for the next five, ten, or fifteen years.”

According to Vegas, the capacity must increase from 85,000 megawatts to 150,000 megawatts within the next six years. The initial assumption was that the grid would require only 130,000 megawatts during this period.

He stated that the Texas infrastructure will experience over half of its additional growth as a result of the development of AI data centers and bitcoin mining. In comparison to their counterparts, data centers that handle AI workloads consume substantially more electricity due to the workload’s intensity.

Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam’s research indicates that AI could account for as much electricity consumption as bitcoin within the next few years.

This occurs amid a deteriorating political climate regarding the absorption of power by AI and bitcoin. State Senator Jose Menendez (D-San Antonio) stated during his testimony that it was “inherently discriminatory” for mining operations and AI data centers to relocate to the state in order to capitalize on its low energy costs, while everyday Texans were “making difficult decisions about costs.”

In a post on X, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick stated that these two industries “produce very few jobs compared to the tremendous demands they place on our infrastructure” and that the Texas Senate would be conducting a more thorough investigation.

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