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MEROM, Ind. (Inside INdiana Business) — A Kentucky-based cryptocurrency startup is looking to transform a portion of the Merom Generating Station in Sullivan County into a crypto mining facility.

AboutBit LLC says the project will create up to 15 high-tech jobs with the potential for more once the facility is online.

AboutBit bills itself as a startup “dedicated to building more sustainable solutions to mine cryptocurrencies.”

The company has entered into a five-year agreement to purchase 115-megawatts of electricity from WIN Energy REMC, a nonprofit electric distribution cooperative in Vincennes, to power the facility.

“We believe there is tremendous potential for rural areas and advanced technology infrastructure such as data storage, cryptocurrency and cybersecurity facilities,” WIN Energy CEO Tom Nowaskie said in a news release. “This is an example of that potential, and we look forward to exploring similar opportunities in the future.”

AboutBit says it will use advanced technology to mitigate environmental and noise pollution, including a liquid cooling system to ensure the machines run quietly. The company says building the data center on the site of the power plant means here will be little to no impact on the environment.

AboutBit founder and CEO Stacy Griggs says the facility will also be able to reduce energy usage during peak periods.

“It’s hard to spin up and spin down power plants,” said Griggs. “If demand in the region hits a peak, we’ll actually be able to reduce our power requirements from WIN Energy and scale back our use at the mining facility, ultimately benefiting other customers in Southwest Indiana.”  

AboutBit did not immediately disclose its investment in the facility, which is expected to go online in the next 30 days.

The Merom Generating Station is currently owned by Bloomington-based Hoosier Energy. However, in February, the co-op announced plans to sell the coal-fired plant to Terre Haute-based Hallador Power Co. LLC. That deal is expected to close in July.

RIVERTON, Ind. (WTWO) – Two people were in the Sullivan County Jail on Thursday night after what started as a complaint about wildlife in a house but turned into a drug bust. 

On Tuesday, Indiana conservation officers were investigating a residence in the 8200 block of West Parke Street, Merom, on a complaint of harboring wild animals inside the home. Officials said the homeowner has been issued previous warnings regarding the animals and that there were reports of potential drug use in the presence of children inside the home.

Upon arrival, officers met with the property owner, 33-year-old Shalee Carlock, and 59-year-old Charles Scott Jr. inside the home. Officials said the officers found two raccoons eating from a pan on the kitchen floor and several drug paraphernalia items in plain sight. 

With suspicions of more drug violations, a search warrant was issued by the Sullivan Superior Court. Authorities from the Indiana Department of Child Services were also called out to the home.

Upon further investigation of the residence, police found more drug paraphernalia items and approximately 12 grams of meth.

Carlock and Scott Jr. were taken into custody and transported to the Sullivan County Jail. The sheriff said each will face felony charges of possession of meth and drug paraphernalia and maintaining a common nuisance with children under the age of 18.

The children at the residence were released to the care of the Indiana Department of Child Services.

Conservation officers transported the raccoons to an animal rehabilitation center.

Riverton, an unincorporated community along the Wabash River, is about 80 miles southwest of Indianapolis.