Belvoir residents concerned about possible cryptocurrency farm

BELVOIR N.C. (WNCT) — Compute North, a company out of Minnesota, is looking to build its next cryptocurrency mining plant in Pitt County.

Crypto mining is the act of gaining cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, by solving crypto equations. Companies are able to do this using high-tech computers.

The Belvoir community could soon get one of these, a cryptocurrency farm has been approved by the Pitt County commissioners. The company held an open house for community members to attend on Wednesday. Some community members at that meeting weren’t fully onboard with the plans because they’re worried about the noise the plant will give off to nearby neighborhoods and an elementary school.

Compute North Vice President of Site Development, Jeff Jackson, said the company is working on getting permits to build a crypto-farm. If approved, it will be located on Belvoir Road near the Greenville Utilities substation.

“I think it will affect her and every child that goes to Belvoir because these crypto mining companies make a ton of noise, it’s loud, it’s hot,” said Molly Holdeman, a parent of a second-grader at Belvoir Elementary. “It’s going to be a constant hum that is about like a jet plane so I don’t know how that’s conducive for young children to learn.”

If approved, Compute North will have 89 modular data center containers which will be home to large computers. Each bin will need around 10 fans to keep it cool, which is where this noise would come from.

“We recognize that our number one impact is noise, so that’s what we’ve been focused on since the beginning is making sure we have proper mitigation solutions so that we can meet the ordinance and the sheriff isn’t coming to shut us down,” said Jackson.

Many Belvoir residents wish this project would be moved to a different location.

“The question I just can’t seem to get answered in my mind is why not the industrial park?” said one resident. “We have an existing industrial park in Pitt County.”

Greenville Utilities Director of Electric Systems, John Worrell, said that isn’t feasible.

“A lot of that capacity is already taken up in the industrial park so the quantity of power they were looking for had to be in a different area,” said Worrell.

The project is proposed to bring 27 jobs to the area, but some Belvoir residents said this isn’t worth the trade-off.

“I don’t think it’s going to have any positive impact,” Holdeman said. “I think it is going to be a huge drain on the power company and I think it is going to be a noise and unsightly view in Pitt County.”

Pitt County Commissioners will decide the next steps in this development at their meeting this Monday at 6 p.m.