A hydroelectric plant with a historic claim to fame was nearly dismantled and now it’s been nominated for national engineering landmark status.

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They can no longer say it has been in continuous operation since it was built in 1897. But it’s working now, after years spent rebuilding a plant that was abandoned by National Grid.

Despite getting the plant back to full power, there’s not a lot of profit in running a plant that still uses all of the original 1800s machinery. That’s why some of the plant’s energy is now being used to produce bitcoin.

Fans cool servers used to mine for Bitcoin at the historic Mechanicville hydroelectric station, seen here on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Mechanicville, N.Y. The station is using some of their hydroelectric generated power to run the servers. (Paul Buckowski/Times Union)Paul Buckowski/Times Union

Albany Engineering Corp. gets 3 cents per kilowatt hour when it sells energy to National Grid. Mining bitcoin, an electronic currency, makes three times as much money, Besha said.

“It’s the best (type of bitcoin mining) because we’re using renewable energy,” Besha said. “We’re just doing it on the side, experimenting with it. We’re buying used servers.”

A view looking south on the Hudson River from a window in the generator hall at the historic Mechanicville hydroelectric station on Wednesday, July 7, 2021, in Mechanicville, N.Y. The station is the oldest continuously operated hydroelectric station in the U.S. (Paul Buckowski/Times Union)Paul Buckowski/Times Union

The full story can be found here.

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