Applied Digital, a blockchain and artificial intelligence (AI) infrastructure provider, has opened its new 200-megawatt (MW) data center in Garden City, Texas.
The facility marks the company’s third blockchain hosting facility to go live in North America.
“Once fully energized, this location will bring Applied Digital to the full planned 480MW of total hosting capacity across its blockchain hosting facilities,” read the company’s announcement on Friday.
A megawatt (MW) is a unit of power equal to one million watts, while a gigawatt (GW) equals one billion watts. Riot Blockchain, another publicly traded Bitcoin miner, boasts a 1GW mining facility in the same state
For context, a standard home light bulb is powered by 60 watts. Meanwhile, Cambridge estimates that the entire Bitcoin network currently demands 14.83 GW, up from its 12.89 GW estimate in September.
Bitcoin miners use such power to produce hashes, which are needed to construct the network’s next block of transactions, for which miners are rewarded with newly minted BTC.
According to Bitinfocharts, Bitcoin’s current hashrate is approximately 400 exahashes per second (EH/s). An exahash equals one quintillion hashes.
“Depending on the model of miners, the facility will support 7-8.5 EH,” Applied Digital Chairman and CEO Wes Cummins told Decrypt.
None of that hashrate is meant for the company itself, however. Cummins said his firm only hosts “other miners,” meaning other companies own the rigs that Allied houses and operates on their behalf. This business allowed Applied Digital to earn $22 million in revenue during the quarter ending in May 2023.
Yet like many mining firms, Applied Digital is turning its focus away from Bitcoin mining and toward high-performance computing (HPC)—another energy-intensive service supporting the AI industry.
Like mining, HPC requires access to large data centers, cooling systems, and cheap energy to operate profitably. According to HIVE Digital Research Director Adam Sharp, HPC-cloud services are “far more profitable per unit of energy” than Bitcoin mining.
“We are focusing all new expansion on HPC/AI workloads,” said Allied’s Cummins.
But it seems investors aren’t convinced—at least not yet. Applied Digital stock, which trades on the NASDAQ under the APLD ticker, fell 5.3% on Friday.
Edited by Stacy Elliott.