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Bitcoin (BTC) miner Marathon Digital (MARA) signs deal with Kenya to invest in green energy projects

Bitcoin (BTC) mining company Marathon Digital (MARA) signed a deal with Kenya’s Ministry of Energy and Petroleum on Friday to develop the African country’s energy infrastructure with investments of over $80 million.

The goal of the partnership is to “monetize underused energy across Kenya and jointly develop technology projects,” said Marathon CEO Fred Thiel.

In a social media post, the company said the investment would be in green data centers. Marathon also indicated in a press release that the capital would include foreign investment, but did not specify the funding sources. “With expected foreign investment of over $80 million, this venture has the potential to deliver economic benefits to the Kenyan economy and generate revenue for the local energy sector ecosystem,” the statement said.

The partnership comes after Marathon held talks with the country earlier this month to help manage its renewable energy operations and advise on digital asset regulation.

Renewable energy is Kenya’s main source of energy and will account for 80% of total electricity generation in 2022, with its share expected to rise to 100% by the end of the decade. However, renewable energy sources such as solar and wind are intermittent, meaning they do not produce energy when most of the consumption occurs. Building renewable energy infrastructure is capital intensive and requires an energy management system to properly store and distribute energy.

Under the agreement, Marathon and Kenyan policymakers will work together to “better understand how to optimize renewable energy projects that produce excess energy due to intermittency and seasonal fluctuations,” the press release said.

Marathon shares traded 6% higher at around $21 on Friday compared to yesterday’s close, outperforming BTC’s 1% gain over the past 24 hours.

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