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 leaders in the energy industry, is leaving her position as the CEO of Hydro-Quebec, the largest power utility in Canada. Brochu was a critic of block reward mining and was behind a push to ban new power allocation to BTC miners.
Brochu, who took over the reins at Hydro-Quebec in April 2020, will be exiting the energy producer and distributor on April 11. In a statement, she said that after taking over in the throes of COVID-19, she has stabilized the company and believes it’s time to pass the torch.
“Sophie’s contribution—marked by her human approach, strong communication skills, and vast experience in the energy sector—will stand the test of time. Under her leadership, a new strategic plan was developed in collaboration with a great many internal contributors and representatives of Québec society, demonstrating her ability to bring people together,” board chair Jacynthe Côté commented.
Côté declined to reveal who would be taking over after Brochu.
Brochu became a critical figure for the Canadian block reward mining industry when she took over the country’s largest power producer, Hydro-Quebec. The company produces power for the local market at the cheapest rates in Canada and exports it to the United States.
In November 2022, she grabbed headlines in the digital asset world after proposing that Hydro-Quebec stop providing power to miners as demand from other sectors surged. She further called on the energy regulator to allocate power to the industry.
“In light of the significant increase in the anticipated demand for electricity and the tightening energy and capacity balances, Hydro-Quebec filed a request with the Regie de l’energie regarding the suspension of the allocation process to the blockchain industry. Under this process, approximately 270 MW were slated to be dedicated to cryptographic use over the short term, but the allocation of that amount of capacity to this use would increase pressure on current balances,” Brochu’s proposal stated.
Quebec is home to several major BTC miners, and there was speculation that they would be booted out of the province. However, some, like Argo Blockchain (NASDAQ: ARBKF) and Bitfarms (NASDAQ: BITF), released statements clarifying their power supply wouldn’t be affected. The latter, reportedly investing $260 million in Quebec, stated that “its current and future bitcoin production will continue for the foreseeable future without disruption.”
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