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Groundbreaking for new data centre set for Monday. Will create 30 jobs locally

'The North Bay site is the first of many power-to-data sites that Validus will be developing over the next 24 months. These power-to-data sites will create over 100 full-time jobs throughout northern Ontario'
20211021 Validus North Bay Power Plant Site
Validus North Bay Power Plant

The former Atlantic Power Corp. power plant on Highway 11 north will be re-commissioned and upgraded into a new data centre say the new owners, Validus Power Corp and Hut 8.

The site is presently idle.

The company will hold a ground-breaking ceremony this Monday (Oct. 25) to start the development of the new enterprise.

See: No buyers yet for gas plant

And: North Bay data storage centre doesn’t compute with power producer

It's hoped this project will spur economic development within the municipality and position northern Ontario as a viable location for technological investment and growth.

"The North Bay site is the first of many power-to-data sites that Validus will be developing over the next 24 months," says a news release announcing the groundbreaking. "These power-to-data sites will create over 100 full-time jobs throughout northern Ontario. Validus Power Corp, through this initiative, hopes to further improve North Bay’s attractiveness as a destination for investment."

Validus Power Corp recently acquired several idle power plants across northern Ontario that were originally scheduled to be shut down.

"Validus saw opportunity in re-commissioning these power plants to support energy demands in the high-tech space and fuel job creation in the local communities," adds the release.

Validus will be investing over $100M over the next 24 months to support this effort and will be opening three power-to-data sites within northern Ontario in the coming months, positioning the region as an up-and-coming technological innovation hub.

The proposed 32,000 sq/ft data centre in North Bay will provide 30 high-skilled jobs including positions for engineers, facility operators, power plant technicians, and data centre technicians.

These data centres will cater to high-performance compute applications and other emerging technologies that require large-scale data processing explains the release.

"Our power plants capture the waste heat to generate electricity more efficiently, whilst reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Renewable geothermal cooling systems and heat from the data centre will be utilized to regulate climate within the data centre."

 The North Bay site will enable Hut 8 to generate power using a blend of by-product steam, hydrogen and natural gas along with a secondary geothermal system that ties in the data centre facility. 

"We couldn't be more excited to diversify our power blend across the country and to continue to take advantage of Canada's favourable climate," said Jaime Leverton, CEO of Hut 8. "This third location demonstrates our commitment to sustainable technological innovation as we continue to expand our operations and strive to remain an industry-leading Bitcoin miner."

Hut 8 is one of North America's largest innovation-focused digital asset miners, supporting open and decentralized systems since 2018, continues the release.

"Located in energy-rich Alberta, Hut 8 has one of the highest installed capacity rates in the industry and holds more self-mined Bitcoin than any crypto miner or publicly-traded company globally. Hut 8 is executing on its commitment to mining and holding Bitcoin and has a diversified business and revenue strategy to grow and protect shareholder value regardless of Bitcoin's market direction."

BayToday will cover the groundbreaking on Monday.

Jeff Turl

About the Author: Jeff Turl

Jeff is a veteran of the news biz. He's spent a lengthy career in TV, radio, print and online, covering both news and sports. He enjoys free time riding motorcycles and spoiling grandchildren.
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