Massena's Old GM Site Open For New BusinessPosted: Updated:
The General Motors site is shuttered now. But the trust that runs it has put out a call. It wants solid offers for purchase from “developers and operators of data centers and related uses that require large volumes of electricity to operate.” Everyone knows who they're talking about.
“It's pretty obvious that the cryptocurrency and the blockchain phenomena has reached the north country and I'm sure they've picked up on it,” said Massena Town Supervisor Steven O'Shaughnessy.
The General Motors plant closed in 2009. More than 1,500 people once worked there. It has a huge electric feed. That's what miners need to get power to the computers that cough up Bitcoin and similar cryptocurrencies.
When the General Motors plant closed, some feared the industrial site could stay empty forever. After all, manufacturers aren't exactly flocking to this part of the state. But cryptocurrency miners would take the industrial site in wholly another direction.
This is a small cryptocurrency miner called Skynet Digital in Massena. It's eying the GM site for a much bigger plant. Another miner has leased the old Alcoa East smelter. A third wants to buy town land. Local officials like all the interest, but are concerned cryptocurrency mines don't need many people to operate.
“I would not support any company coming into town just to get the electricity and not provide jobs that we so desperately need up here,” said O'Shaughnessy.
The RACER trust says it will also consider offers from companies other than computer centers. But it wants those offers to - in its words – “maximize the property's economic potential for the community.”