Telus to build $75-million data centre in Kamloops

The $75-million data centre is expected to be in operation by summer of 2013

Premier Christy Clark watches a speech during the groundbreaking of the Telus Data Centre in Kamloops on Friday

Premier Christy Clark watches a speech during the groundbreaking of the Telus Data Centre in Kamloops on Friday

By Andrea Klassen  Kamloops This Week

A DJ pumped out tunes and several of B.C.’s political heavyweights — including Premier Christy Clark — pumped hands as the long-anticipated Telus Data Centre in Kamloops broke ground on Friday, June 29.

The $75-million data centre, located on former School District 73 land on McGill Road, is expected to be in operation by this time next year.

Telus president and CEO Darren Entwistle said the centre is designed to be “the most environmentally sustainable, secure and reliable facility of its kind in the entire world,” using 80 per cent less power than a typical data centre its size.

Entwistle said it would take “half the amount of energy used to run a toaster” to cool 1,500 servers in the building.

Because of Kamloops’ low humidity, the building is designed to draw in outside air for cooling, which also reduce the amount of water needed for the process.

Entwistle is hoping the data centre’s construction will lead to more technology companies considering Kamloops for their operations, a sentiment Mayor Peter Milobar echoed at the ceremony.

“This is one more indication to the outside world that we are a viable tech hub,” he said.

Building the data centre will create an estimated 200 construction jobs and 75 permanent information-technology positions.

“These are actually really cool jobs,” said Steve Jenkins, general manager for Telus in the Southern Interior.

“These are going to be highly sought-after . . . These will be skilled roles, so with that they’re going to take top market dollars.”

Jenkins said the centre — which is the twin of another facility set to open in Quebec this fall — will be built in seven modules and will be 215,000 square feet once it’s fully built out. There are no plans to expand beyond that footprint.

The company also handed out a number of donations at the ceremony, including $425,000 for the Royal Inland Hospital Foundation, which Jenkins said will go toward the construction of new intensive-care and isolation units.

However, it was the Kamloops parks department that picked up the oddest prize of the day. Entwistle announced the company would donate the tent and the boardwalk constructed for the event to the city, for use at other announcements.