Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

Microsoft to invest $685 million in network data centers region of Quebec

Open in full screen mode

The Microsoft logo in Vancouver, July 23, 2022.

La Presse Canadian

Feature being testedLog inCreate my account

Speech synthesis, based on artificial intelligence, makes it possible to generate spoken text from 'a written text.

If Quebec's charm operation towards data centers is a thing of the past in a context of limited energy capacity, Microsoft's four already authorized projects will move forward, assures the American multinational. The company will thus invest the equivalent of more than $685 million in the Quebec region over the next two years.

Microsoft estimates that the construction of its data centers in L'Ancienne-Lorette, Donnacona, Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures and Lévis represents an investment of US$500 million over two years, the equivalent of nearly US$685 million. dollars.

The precise schedule for the four projects has not yet been decided, but it will be shared in the coming weeks, specifies Michel Biron, director of the public sector for Eastern Canada at Microsoft, in an interview. It will increase cloud computing capacity in the region by 240% over three years, he enthuses.

Hydro-Québec had carried out a charm operation to attract data center operators from 2016 to 2022. The strategy was presented as a way to take advantage of the electricity company's surplus electricity. ;State. Quebec was seen as a welcoming territory, particularly because of the cold winters which make it possible to cool servers at lower cost.

However, with the end of surpluses, the Legault government must make a choice among large industrial projects that want to connect to the Hydro-Québec network. Data centers are no longer among the sectors identified as the most promising. Projects already authorized, such as those from Microsoft, can however move forward.

Microsoft is aware of Quebec's energy constraints and took them into account in its agreement with the state-owned company. In a context where energy is limited, we understand very well why the government prudently manages the rental of electricity, answers Mr. Biron.

The company has reached an agreement with Hydro-Québec to reduce its energy consumption by 30% during peak periods, the manager gives as an example. He could not reveal the number of megawatts that will be consumed by the four projects.

For the moment, Microsoft has no other data center projects in the works for Quebec. It is certain that we are preparing for the increase in cloud computing consumption in Quebec. Our objective is really to serve with what we have there. I don't have specific details to share on a potential expansion (beyond the four planned centers).

Microsoft already has 1,000 employees in Quebec. Despite a more difficult context for employment in the technology sector, Mr. Biron affirms that the company is still in recruitment mode in the province.

In January, the multinational announced that it would reduce its workforce by 10,000 professionals around the world by March. In February, the company laid off 11 people in Montreal, according to a collective layoff notice sent to the government.

There are always positions open at Microsoft. All major transformations require a certain amount of workforce management, like everywhere else, but, to be able to support this growth, we are always on the lookout for talent.

The expertise sought includes developers, cybersecurity and application development experts, lists the manager.

Among its projects in Quebec, Microsoft has also launched partnerships to offer technology training.

It has also joined forces with the firm KPMG to launch the Operational Risk Management Skills Development Center which will provide free training in French, particularly in cybersecurity.

It also collaborates with NPower to offer training on technology skills that will help job seekers in Quebec. It is specifically designed for French-speaking training for people who are looking for work.

The company hopes to reach communities that are underserved: women, youth, newcomers and Indigenous people.

By admin

Related Post