Secret cartels are binding Hydro-Québec and Amazon

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Secret cartels are binding Hydro-Québec, a giant online sales Amazon the price of the electricity and power will be provided for its future data centre in Varennes, learned The Newspaper.

“We have confidentiality agreements with Amazon. And we must respect them “, said yesterday a spokesman for Hydro-Québec, Louis-Olivier Batty.

With its data center under construction in Varennes, Amazon plans to repatriate its activities of data storage present in other centres in Quebec, assure-t-on.

However, everything indicates that the electricity rate paid by Amazon to move its facilities in Varennes will be very attractive.

In Quebec, the price of electricity for the data centers, however, is governed and regulated by the Régie de l’énergie. In the best case, this rate can reach to 3.95 cents per kilowatt-hour.

Quebecers pay an average of a little over 7 cents per kilowatt-hour consumed on the Hydro-Québec network.

Additional discount

However, Amazon will also be eligible for an additional discount (over four years) of 20 %, applicable from the first year through Hydro, 15% second, 10% and 5 %, thereafter. “A data center of this size could easily consume a thirty megawatts (MW),” said a source, adding that some large data centers can consume more electricity (up to 50 MW).

It should be noted that other data centers have been able to benefit from this program of financial assistance Hydro-Québec.

Few jobs

In Varennes, Amazon will build a first data center of 155,000 square feet, which will cost $ 81 million. Two other phases may also see the light of day.

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In total, Amazon could invest close to $ 250 million in Québec in data centers over the next few years.

A data center such as Amazon will build to Varennes, however, will require fewer employees on the floor. All in all, we are talking about a fifty employees required by the centre. Until now, Amazon has created a lot of jobs in the rest of the country in its distribution centres, but few in Quebec.


Incentives to open a data center in Quebec

  • Very low cost of electricity
  • Tax holiday of$15 Million
  • Accelerated depreciation for computer equipment
  • Full refund of the GST and the QST on the majority of purchases and expenses
  • Property taxes calculated for the building only and not its content
  • Support of program Expansion (loan or loan guarantee covering up to 70 % of a net loss)
  • Tax credit equal to 24 % of salaries up to a maximum of $ 20,000 per year per employee.

Source : Hydro-Québec


What they said

This is not something that will harm us. — Jimmy Couture, Oricom, data centre quebec

Once they have a strong physical presence with us, we have other tools to ensure that taxes are paid. — Carlos Leitao, a spokesman for the official opposition in matters of finance

It’s a company that I respect enormously, but it is necessary that their contribution to the economy of Quebec is palpable. Peter Fitzgibbon, the minister of Economy of the government Legault