Hydro-Quebec CEO behind push to ban new power allocation to BTC miners to leave post
Sophie Brochu, one of North America’s most powerful energy leaders, is stepping down as CEO of Hydro-Quebec, Canada’s largest utility. Brochu has been a critic of block reward mining and was behind a push to ban the new power allocation to BTC miners.
Brochu, who took over as head of Hydro-Quebec in April 2020, will leave the energy producer and distributor on April 11. In a statement, she said she stabilized the company amid the turmoil of COVID-19 following her acquisition and believes it is time to pass the torch.
“Sophie’s contribution – characterized by her human approach, strong communication skills and extensive experience in the energy sector – will stand the test of time. Under her leadership, a new strategic plan has been developed in collaboration with many internal contributors and representatives of Québec society, demonstrating her ability to bring people together,” commented Jacynthe Côté, CEO.
Côté declined to reveal who would take over after Brochu.
Brochu became a pivotal figure for Canada’s block reward mining industry when it acquired the country’s largest power producer, Hydro-Quebec. The company produces electricity for the local market at the cheapest prices in Canada and exports it to the United States.
In November 2022, she made headlines in the digital asset world after suggesting that Hydro-Quebec should stop supplying electricity to miners as demand from other sectors soared. She also called on the energy regulator to assign power to the industry.
“Given the significant increase in expected electricity demand and tightening energy and capacity balances, Hydro-Quebec has filed a request with the Regie de l’energie to suspend the allocation process to the blockchain industry. As part of this process, about 270 MW should be earmarked for crypto usage in the short-term, but allocating that amount of capacity to that usage would increase pressure on the electricity balance,” Brochus said in the proposal.
Quebec is home to several large BTC miners and there has been speculation that they would be evicted from the province. However, some, like Argo Blockchain (NASDAQ: ARBKF) and Bitfarms (NASDAQ: BITF), released statements clarifying that their power supply would not be affected. The latter, who reportedly invested $260 million in Quebec, stated that “its current and future Bitcoin production will continue uninterrupted for the foreseeable future.”
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