Amazon Web Services to invest $4.3 billion in Calgary

Cloud computing cluster is expected to create nearly 1,000 jobs and add $5 billion to Canada's GDP

Amazon Wen Services Canada general manager Eric Gales speaks at the Telus Centre on Nov. 8, 2021. YOURALBERTA YOUTUBE

Amazon Web Services is set to make a historic investment into Calgary’s—and Alberta’s—tech future.

The subsidiary of mega-retailer Amazon has broken ground on a $4.3 billion cluster of cloud computing operations in Calgary.

The investment is expected to take place over the next 15 years, which is part of the overall strategy for Amazon to invest $21 billion in Canada by 2037.

“We are so excited to be announcing these investments in Alberta, and we look forward to working with businesses and government to innovate to serve customers and citizens across the nation and across the globe,” said Eric Gales, general manager of AWS Canada.

The company expects that over $5 billion will be added to Canada’s GDP from this project. Nearly 1,000 jobs directly and indirectly related to this project will also be created in the Calgary region.

Largest single investment in Alberta’s tech sector

The new cloud computing operation will join the Amazon Web Services region currently in operation in Montreal. Worldwide the company has 25 service regions.

The Calgary AWS region is expected to be available for customers in late 2023 or early 2024.

Premier Jason Kenny said that this was the single largest investment in Alberta’s tech sector.

“Exactly what an investment like this underscores is that we are getting to that critical mass with small startups with growing startups like Benevity, and with major global tech giants like Amazon making investments in the long run here,” he said.

Randy Boissonnault, Canada’s Minister of Tourism and Associate Minister of Finance, said that investments like AWS’s were critical to Canada’s future economy.

“Our ability to be part of the development and upscale of new technologies that will be needed to feed an ever growing demand more available and more reliable access is paramount to our future,” he said.

A sustainable future for cloud computing

AWS has also committed to reducing the carbon footprint of their data centres. The company is aiming to power all of their Amazon infrastructure with renewable energy by 2025.

“Amazon and AWS are committed and invested in sustainability, because it’s good for the planet, it’s good for our customers, and it’s good for the communities that we will live in,” said Gales.

The company has invested in an 80 megawatt solar power generating project east of Calgary in Newell County. It has also invested in a 375 megawatt solar project in Vulcan County.

According to Gales, Amazon is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy.

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