Compute North sign

Signs opposing a proposed cryptocurrency mining operation near Belvoir Elementary School were posted near the site and in the yards of homes along Belvoir School Road and other locations.

A company that wants to locate a cryptocurrency mining operation in Pitt County plans to withdraw a special use permit request for a proposed site in Belvoir at tonight's Pitt County Board of Commissioners meeting, according to a company spokeswoman

"After thoughtful review of our proposed data center facility in Pitt County, Compute North has decided that it is in the best interest of all stakeholders to pursue an alternative location for our project," said Kristyan Mjolsnes, Compute North's vice president of marketing.

"We are confident in our ability to meet all county ordinances to ensure compliance and do have a genuine desire to contribute as a valuable member of the local economy," she said in a statement sent to The Daily Reflector. "With support from our local partners, we remain optimistic about receiving approval to commence with building a new data center facility in eastern North Carolina, bringing benefits to the local economy and power grid."

Compute North, a Minnesota-based company with three data centers in North Dakota, Nebraska and Texas, wanted to build a facility on property bordered by Belvoir School Road, N.C. 33 West and U.S. 264 bypass (Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard).

The Pitt County Board of Commissioners on Sept. 27 approved an ordinance that would allow the company to seek a permit to operate as a large-scale data processing facility. The company's plan was to install 89 modules containing computer processors that would solve complex mathematical problems in order to earn cryptocurrency, a former of digital currency.

The project was met with protests, however, when it became clear the proposed site was about three-tenths of a mile from Belvoir Elementary School, which has a predominately Hispanic and African American population.

Opponents said the operation, which would relay on more than 1,200 fans to cool the modules and processors, would create too much noise and disturb students, nearby households and wildlife.


Compute North said it had sound mitigation plans that would limit the noise heard in the community.

There were also concerns that the operation would consume too much electricity and drive up local electric rates, as occurred in a New York state community.

Greenville Unities Commission administrators said it had sufficient electric supply for the company and supported the project. The administrators said Compute North's electric usage could in fact help stabilize rates for other computers.

During the weekend Compute North posted several videos on Facebook that promoted the Pitt County project and sought to recruit local employees.

However, a number of comments on the promotional video questioned the company's ability to limit the effects of noise and questions its energy consumption.

"Integrity is a core value at Compute North and our desire to be a good neighbor and valued member of the business community is authentic and unwavering," Mjolsnes said. 

Contact Ginger Livingston at glivingston@reflector.com or 252-329-9570.