SHAWINIGAN — The economic development Department of the City of Shawinigan has announced on Tuesday the signing of an agreement with the quebec company-Watts Unlimited for the establishment of the largest data center located on the north shore of the St. Lawrence river.
According to the promoter, who could not disclose the location for security reasons, it is a project of 120 million dollars, of which the first phase, valued at six million dollars, to be completed by the end of 2018. In the short term, this project will create 15 highly skilled jobs, a number that could rise by up to 60 jobs.
The data centre Watts Unlimited will have an initial capacity of three megawatts on an area of 42 000 square feet, to reach a capacity of 12 megawatts on an area of 120, 000 square feet. This centre will take place in a building of the economic development Corporation of Shawinigan, which will be acquired by the proponent.
Watts Unlimited is one of the most important suppliers of equipment in critical service to Canada. This initiative will enable the company to establish itself as a builder and operator of data center scale.
“You have exceptional things”, launched the president Jean-Michel Picard during a press conference held at city hall. Among other things, he was referring to the presence of several hydroelectric plants, which allows to ensure the energy supply necessary. An advantage considered crucial by the proponent for the establishment of a data centre at the global level.
Because if Watts Unlimited has chosen Shawinigan, it is for strategic reasons. In fact, the geo-location of the City allows you to close the loop South Shore/North Shore, between the poles of Montreal and Quebec.
“Shawinigan is located less than 150 kilometres from Montréal, Québec and Drummondville, which is in keeping with the highest standards of latency and redundancy in telecommunication,” he says.
“Patience was finally rewarded one day. We are working on this issue for over a year. We knew that Shawinigan had the essential features to attract a data center of importance ”
In addition, Shawinigan is located in a climate region, and a seismic zone different from these three cities. “This unique privilege, combined with the characteristics of the telecommunication and energy make Shawinigan a welcoming land for the construction of a campus of data centers”, a-t-on notes.
This is not to mention that this is a private initiative of data center will provide a competitive option for businesses looking for a hosting solution safe and efficient, which meets the most stringent requirements in engineering.
“The completion of this project contributes to the improvement of the strategic development of Shawinigan and the Mauricie region. It allows you to position Shawinigan as a territory indispensable in North America for the establishment of a data center powered by renewable energy,” commented the mayor of Shawinigan, Michel Angers.
According to him, the establishment of this data centre in Shawinigan is a factor of attraction for businesses and enable the creation of skilled jobs. And it positions Shawinigan in the global market for data centres and contributes to sustainable development by the use of renewable energy, as well as by research and development in heat recovery.
“Patience was finally rewarded one day. We are working on this issue for over a year. We knew that Shawinigan had the essential features to attract a data center of importance. We have therefore taken the initiative in making a book presentation in order to attract a developer capable of developing a project showcasing our regional resources. We have met several players. It is the realization of a dream of many years. This is not an end in itself, but a kick-off for a lot of work to come,” said the director of the economic development Department of the City of Shawinigan, Luc Arvisais, who has taken up this great near vision and value with the successful firm.
Moreover, the chief magistrate confirmed that the City was working on this type of project for several years. “We found the important partner that they wished to have”,
Finally, Watts Unlimited was surrounded by partners, forming a team of top-level managers, and experienced in the ecosystem of the professionals required for the construction and operation of a data center of international caliber.