Amazon opens data centres in Montreal thanks to lower hydro costs

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Fearing the high costs of hydro in Ontario, one of the world’s largest tech companies is fleeing to Quebec.

Amazon recently revealed that it has created two data centres just outside Montreal in order to offer internet services to its “Canada region.” Amazon announced the launch of these centres earlier in December, though Ontario’s provincial regulators are reeling at the tech giant’s reasoning.

MobileSyrup previously reported that Amazon would launch two new data centres in Montreal, though there was no reason as to why the computer made the decision at the time. It seems Ontario’s high hydro-electricity costs are the reason for Amazon leaving the province.

In addition to Canada, Amazon is running data centres for its clients in 15 other locations around the world. Teresa Carlson, vice-president of public sector with Amazon Web Services, told the National Post that Amazon primarily chose Quebec because of its economical hydro-electricity costs.

Amazon reportedly conducted a thorough review of its options in Canada, specifically Ontario, which included the cost of hydro-electricity.

In 2013, Quebec welcomed the launch of a data centre from the French cloud computing giant OVH. OVH went on to set up its North American research and development labs in the province in 2016. In addition, IBM, Bell Canada and Cogeco Data Services have also opened data centres in the province.

This revelation comes at a time when the Ontario Liberal Party is feeling the backlash from an unpopular energy policy that’s seen provincial hydro-electricity costs skyrocket over the past few years.

This past November, Ontario Premiere Kathleen Wynne admitted at a press conference that the increasing energy costs across the province were her “mistake” and pledged to address the problem in 2017.

However, the announcement of Amazon’s Montreal data centres spiked the attention Ontario’s Progressive Conservative party leader Patrick Brown, who claimed that Ontario’s rising hydro-electricity prices are making it less competitive for investments from large businesses, in particular the world’s tech giants.

Amazon web services is currently the largest provider of cloud computing services in the world, accounting for 30 percent of the global market.

This quarter, Amazon Web Services completed $3.23 billion USD in sales, which totals a 55 percent increase from the $2.1 billion USD is made last quarter.

This article was originally published on MobileSyrup