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The Intersection of Bitcoin Mining, Energy, and Institutional Growth with Joe Dillon

Feb 12, 2024

The Intersection of Bitcoin Mining, Energy, and Institutional Growth with Joe Dillon

The Intersection of Bitcoin Mining, Energy, and Institutional Growth with Joe Dillon

Key Takeaways

Joe Dillon, an expert in power infrastructure with a background that spans two decades, offers an extensive understanding of the intricacies of power grids and their intersection with bitcoin mining. With experience in building deepwater offshore oil rigs, wind farms, and involvement in Honeywell's global smart grid business, Joe highlights the challenges and opportunities the power grid faces with the introduction of renewable energy sources and the role of bitcoin mining as a flexible load solution.

The power grid, originally designed for steady-state, unidirectional electron flow, now must accommodate the intermittency of renewable energy sources like wind and solar. The grid's redesign is complicated by the need for flexible loads to balance supply and demand. Joe explains that traditional thermal generation allowed for controllable coordination, but renewables present a challenge due to their unpredictable nature. The solution, as you might guess: bitcoin mining.

Bitcoin mining offers the scale and flexibility required to manage loads at the grid level. Joe also delves into the potential of AI and hydrogen, though he remains skeptical of hydrogen's current viability. The conversation then shifts to the economics of battery storage, which, despite its utility for frequency response and short-term power injections, falls short in providing a long-term flexible load solution due to its prohibitive capex cost.

Joe's company, Adakon Energy Solutions, focuses on creating infrastructural solutions that support the integration of bitcoin mining into the power grid. By partnering with power plants and utilities, Adakon Energy provides a platform for miners to tap into power sources, effectively acting as a "bitcoin trailer park." This model allows for decentralization within the mining community, catering to a range of customers from those seeking a powered shell to full-service hosting.

The discussion also touches on the regulatory landscape, mentioning efforts to allow loads other than batteries or cogeneration facilities to take nodal pricing, and the role of education in bridging the gap between the bitcoin mining community and the traditional energy sector. Joe's insights reveal a future where institutional scale mining operations coexist with the power grid, contributing to a more flexible and robust energy system.

Best Quotes

  1. "Bitcoin mining came around like you couldn't get the amount of flexible load at scale to be managed at a grid level." - This quote encapsulates the transformative impact bitcoin mining could have on the power grid, presenting a scalable solution to the problem of balancing intermittent renewable energy sources.
  2. "Asking people to turn their thermostats down when it's hot outside is not the answer." - Joe emphasizes the inadequacy of conventional demand response measures in the face of a changing energy landscape, highlighting the need for innovative solutions like bitcoin mining.
  3. "We're incentivizing a ton of this renewable intermittent generation, and we're going to have a giant flexible load problem." - Joe brings attention to the policy-driven push towards renewables and the consequential challenges that arise, underscoring the urgency of finding a viable flexible load mechanism.
  4. "You have seven of the largest asset and real estate owning entities in the world are now going to have bitcoin ETFs. They're also seven of the largest corporate power consumers in the world." - Joe highlights the intertwined futures of bitcoin and the energy sector, suggesting that large asset holders will increasingly recognize the benefits of incorporating bitcoin mining into their operations.


The podcast episode with Joe delivers a compelling narrative on the evolution of power grids and the intersection of energy and bitcoin mining. It provides a glimpse into the future of energy infrastructure, where traditional power generation coexists with innovative solutions like bitcoin mining to ensure grid stability and efficiency. Joe's insights offer a unique perspective on how bitcoin mining can act as a critical flexible load, addressing the challenges posed by renewable intermittency.

As we reflect on the conversation, it's clear that the energy sector is at a crossroads, with significant investment and educational efforts needed to fully harness the potential of bitcoin mining as an energy management tool. The implications for future discussions are vast, touching on energy policy, technology advancements, and the continued integration of the bitcoin mining industry into the broader energy landscape. Joe's expertise and Adakon Energy's work exemplify the proactive steps being taken to shape a more sustainable and adaptable power grid for the future.


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