Marathon Digital Holdings expands global presence with hydro powered Bitcoin mining venture in Paraguay

10 November 2023

Marathon Digital Holdings, Inc has launched its second international deployment with a 27MW Bitcoin mining project in Paraguay, which is entirely powered by hydroelectric energy.

The project, a joint venture with Penguin Infrastructure Holding, commenced on October 16, 2023. It is strategically positioned near the Itaipu Dam, the second-largest hydroelectric dam globally, boasting an installed generation capacity of 14GW and recognized for its significant annual production.

The deployment will occur in two phases. The first stage, utilizing approximately 7MW, will power around 0.3 EH/s of Marathon's miners, expected to be energized this November. The second phase, utilizing approximately 20MW, is scheduled to come online in 2024, supporting approximately 0.8 EH/s of Marathon's miners. Marathon and Penguin Group aim to bring the full 1.1 EH/s online over the following months.

Fred Thiel, Marathon's Chairman and CEO, highlighted the strategic importance of expanding into new markets with excess or stranded energy. Thiel stated:  “After proving that we can successfully deploy internationally with our project in Abu Dhabi, we are continuing to expand into new markets with excess or stranded energy. This project is our second international deployment and marks our first into Latin America."

Paraguay's surplus energy, estimated at around 32TWh per year, provides a unique opportunity for Bitcoin miners to co-locate at sources of power producing excess energy, such as the Itaipu Dam. Thiel emphasized the mutual benefits, stating: "For Marathon, such deployments provide us with the opportunity to reduce our power costs and increase our mix of sustainable energy."

The project is positioned as a case study demonstrating the value Bitcoin mining can bring to regions with excess power. Marathon aims to not only optimize its power costs but also assist utilities and countries in monetizing their surplus energy without requiring substantial investments in transmission lines and additional infrastructure.

Thiel expressed the company's eagerness to expand operations in Paraguay and beyond, emphasizing Marathon's role in facilitating sustainable Bitcoin mining practices globally.

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