For the second time this year, Iran has ordered crypto-mining operations to stop down in order to avoid blackouts.

Iran has ordered all permitted crypto-mining facilities to shut down until March 6 next year in order to avoid blackouts as the country’s power plants struggle to keep up with demand.

Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, director of Iran Grid Management, the country’s national electricity grid creator and operator, was the first to relay the news, according to Bloomberg. He also serves as the spokesman for Iran’s electricity sector.

The Middle Eastern country has ordered the centers to close for the second time this year. The first occurred in May when Iran experienced a series of blackouts as a result of higher-than-normal energy demand during the summer months, which was exacerbated by dryness and high temperatures. In September, the order was removed.

According to Bloomberg, Mashhadi claims that the prohibition will free up 209 megawatts of power for family usage.

Cryptocurrency mining has long been chastised for its high energy consumption and negative environmental effect. Bitcoin mining consumes more energy each year than certain whole countries, according to many studies, including one from Cambridge University.

As a result, according to Bloomberg, Iranian officials are cracking down on illicit mining, which consumes more than 600 megawatts of power. Switching off street lights and restricting power use in offices are two more solutions Mashhadi advocates.

Iran has ordered all permitted crypto-mining facilities to shut down until March 6 next year in order to avoid blackouts as the country’s power plants struggle to keep up with demand.

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