Bismarck, North Dakota- Cryptocurrency mining companies are planning to redevelop the abandoned anti-ballistic missile site in northeastern North Dakota in the 1970s into a data center that can be used to mine Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Governor Doug Burgham announced on Monday.
Backed by strategic investor and “Shark Tank” star Kevin O’Leary, Bitzero Blockchain Inc. announced last month plans to make North Dakota the headquarters for its North American operations. The company plans to build a 200-megawatt data center in the state within three years and said it is involved in a joint venture to become a hub for the assembly and distribution of graphene battery technology.
The location of Necoma, long thought to be a waste of money for white elephants and taxpayers, was born out of the 1972 Treaty between the United States and the Soviet Union.
The $ 6 billion Stanley R. Mickelsen Safeguard Complex once housed a radar system in a concrete pyramid with 7-foot-thick reinforced concrete walls. It was deactivated in 1976 after only a few months of operation. Necoma’s population has reached hundreds, compared to its current population of about 30, and the surrounding towns have benefited from the influx of well-paid missile specialists and support personnel.
The Cavalier County Employment Development Department has owned the site since 2017. Spokeswoman Carol Goodman said the facility will be sold to the company for $ 250,000.
According to Burgum, the waste heat collected from data center servers is used to heat onsite greenhouses. The company also plans an interpreting center with an estimated total investment of $ 500 million by Bitzero.
“Part of this important history will be restored and will be a beacon to North Dakota’s innovations in other parts of the world,” said Bergham.
Bitzero has signed a lease of administrative work on both Bismarck and Fargo. Nekoma’s site will be the main data center site in North Dakota, said Mike Nowatsuki, a spokesman for Blugum.
Separately, in January Burgum announced that it would build a $ 1.9 billion data center near the largest city in the state’s oil-producing region in northwestern North Dakota.
The second Republican Governor praised the Atlas PowerData Center, built by Montana-based FX Solutions Inc.’s Missoula, as one of the largest centers in the world and helping to diversify the economy of the Williston region. .. He suffered from an oil boom bust cycle for decades.
Burgum, a wealthy former executive at Microsoft, describes the data center as “an incredibly positive industry that is price-independent of oil.”
Data center applications include mining Bitcoin and other digital currencies. Cryptocurrency mining includes supercomputers to solve the complex calculations needed to provide security for transactions in digital currencies.
This process requires a lot of power and generates a lot of heat. North Dakota is an ideal location for data centers because of its reliable and affordable power supplies and climate that can reduce cooling costs, Bergham said.
Burgum spokesman Nowatzki said no public funds were allocated to any of the projects, although they are expected to be eligible for tax credits already given to agriculture, energy and other industries.