Google Beauharnois: Google to build new data center in Québec, halts plan to build 3 data centers in the Netherlands

May 12, 2021 | Posted by Eric Bell

Plans are in place for Google to acquire a property in Beauharnois, Quebec, and turn it into a data center. The proposed data center is estimated to cost $600 million.  The 62.4 hectares plot of land is owned by Hydro-Québec, and is currently zoned as agricultural land, the provincial government said Monday in a statement

Google also announced that it would no longer be expanding its data center site in the Netherlands. Initially, the plan was to build three more data centers to add to its data center in Wieringermeerpolder.

A spokesperson for Google commented that the Company has decided to rethink its plans based on the emerging designs and technologies. He also said that there are no plans for further extensions in the Netherlands. However, the Company is also not ruling out the possibility of building again in the country.

Press Release from the Office of the Minister of Economy and Innovation
May 10, 2021
Translated by Google Translate
BEAUHARNOIS, QC , May 10, 2021 / CNW Telbec / - The Government of Quebec is delighted with the announcement of the multinational Google underlining its intention to acquire land in Beauharnois and to carry out its growth projects in Quebec, which will lead to a potential investment of 600 million US dollars, or approximately 735 million Canadian dollars, for the establishment of a computer data center in Beauharnois. Once the proposed project gets underway, it is estimated that this potential investment will create around 30 skilled and well-paid jobs during the operation phase.

In order to make this initiative possible and to meet the specific needs related to the future construction and operation of such a data center, the government has proceeded to exclude from the agricultural zone land representing an area of ​​62, 4 hectares and belonging to Hydro-Quebec.

Compensation measures are planned to mitigate the repercussions of this project on the territory and agricultural activities. They stem from commitments made with the Union des producteurs agricoles (UPA) and the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM). Thus, an equivalent area of ​​land outside the agricultural zone belonging to Hydro-Québec, and adjacent to the land that Google will buy, will be included in the agricultural zone and then be ceded or entrusted in the long term to the UPA-Fondaction agricultural trust to support its operations. activities aimed in particular at preserving Quebec's agricultural heritage.

In addition, the Quebec government will allocate a non-refundable financial contribution of $ 3.54 million to the UPA-Fondaction agricultural trust to help start up its activities. Non-repayable financial assistance of $ 2.7 million will also be paid to the CMM to ensure the implementation of the Metropolitan Agricultural Park.

In addition, in order to underline the importance and the sustainability of its relations with the UPA, Hydro-Québec will cede to the UPA-Fondaction agricultural trust a land of approximately 150 hectares located in Saint-Stanislas-de-Kostka , in the Montérégie region. This will help support the start-up of the Trust's activities.

The Minister of Economy and Innovation, Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon, made the announcement today along with the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Minister responsible for the Chaudière regions -Appalaches and Center-du-Québec, Mr. André Lamontagne, the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions, Mr. Jonatan Julien, and the Member for Beauharnois and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transport, Mr. Claude Reid.


“I am very proud to announce today a future major project for the region. It is estimated that the data center will generate well-paying jobs here in Beauharnois, during construction and from the first phase of the project. The expansion of the activities of a company of Google's stature in Quebec confirms our status as one of the most dynamic and greenest technology hubs in the world. "

Pierre  Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation

“The protection of agricultural land is very important for the Government of Quebec. The measures put in place to mitigate the impact of the project on the agricultural zone are unprecedented and demonstrate our commitment to the preservation of agricultural land, which is the source of our food self-sufficiency and the vitality of our regions. With this agreement, all of Quebec comes out on top. "

André Lamontagne, Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Minister responsible for the Chaudière-Appalaches and Center-du-Québec regions

“Today's announcement confirms Quebec's ability to attract world-class players to the new economy through its clean, renewable and affordable energy. The implementation of Google will entail major investments, which will create wealth in Quebec, for the benefit of the entire community. "

Jonatan Julien, Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions

“The idea of ​​welcoming the multinational Google and participating in their future projects in Beauharnois arouses a great mobilization of local actors. It is with great enthusiasm that we are taking this further step today to materialize this forward-looking initiative and revitalize the regional economy, while preserving the dynamism of agricultural activities in our constituency. "

Claude Reid, Member of Parliament for Beauharnois and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Transport

"We are very happy that Google is choosing Quebec's clean energy to help it achieve its goal of operating all of its activities from renewable energy by 2030. This is recognition. significant role that our energy can play in decarbonizing the continent. "

Sophie Brochu, President and CEO of Hydro-Québec

“The evolution of this project is excellent news for our city. For several years, we have been working with the promoter to be able to meet his needs without negative effects for our population. Google's arrival in Beauharnois will consolidate the development of our industrial park and work on the creation of a data technology hub. "

Bruno Tremblay, Mayor of the City of Beauharnois

“The agreement announced with the UPA-Fondaction agricultural trust, on the sidelines of this project, is important for the UPA. The mission of the Fiducie is to preserve the vocation of agricultural land in Quebec with a view, in particular, to supporting projects for the establishment of the next generation of farmers. We are faced with an exceptional situation, where for the first time, the government recognizes in a concrete way the need to maintain the areas of our agricultural zone by compensating for the losses of agricultural land. Increasing our food self-sufficiency cannot be done without preserving, or even increasing, our cultivated areas in Quebec. "

Marcel Groleau, President and CEO of the UPA

“Montréal International has been supporting the various business branches of Google present in the greater Montreal area for several years. The future data center project proves that in addition to our creative and innovative talent, the 82 municipalities of the Montreal Metropolitan Community offer an environment conducive to the development of new technologies and new know-how that reduce our carbon footprint. . "

Stéphane Paquet, President and CEO of Montréal International


  • The UPA-Fondaction Agricultural Trust aims to facilitate the access of the next generation to agricultural land as well as to preserve Quebec's agricultural heritage, in particular by withdrawing acquired agricultural land from the speculative market and ensuring their conservation and the maintenance of their vocation. agricultural.
  • The Metropolitan Agricultural Park , which is part of the agreement in principle concluded between the CMM, the UPA and the CDPQ Infra, aims to ensure the vocation and sustainability of the metropolitan agricultural territory. It will stimulate the implementation of projects demonstrating good practices and innovation in peri-urban agriculture. In addition, it will bring urban and rural communities closer together by promoting general public access to agricultural land and participation in educational activities.
  • The Google company has been present in Quebec since 2004. Its Montreal offices will have up to 1,000 employees, who will be divided into three business units: Chrome, Cloud and IA. Recently, the company also made a commitment to make Montreal one of its three main offices in Canada .
  • On 28 April 2021, the Government adopted Decree o 599-2021 regarding the exclusion of the agricultural area of the lots or parts of lots required for the implementation of a computer data center on land owned Hydro-Québec and covered by file number 420388 of the Commission de protection du territoire agricole du Québec relating to the request of the City of Beauharnois .
  • The commitments made by the various parties to compensate for the repercussions of the project on the territory and agricultural activities and, moreover, to allow its realization are recorded in a document concluded between the government, the UPA and the CMM and entitled " Agreed principles aimed at to mitigate the impacts on the territory and agricultural activities of the realization of a computer data center project in Beauharnois on the territory of the Metropolitan Community of Montreal and to support the start-up of the UPA-Fondaction agricultural trust ”.
Ministry of Economy and Innovation on social networks:

  • Office of the Minister of the Economy and Innovation

Information: Sources: Mathieu St-Amand, Director of Communications Office of the Minister of the Economy and Innovation, Tel. : 418 691-5650; Laurence Voyzelle, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food and Minister responsible for the Chaudière Appalaches and Center-du-Québec regions, Tel. : 418 380-2525; Elizabeth Lemay, Press Secretary, Office of the Minister of Energy and Natural Resources and Minister responsible for the Côte-Nord and Gaspésie-Îles-de-la-Madeleine regions, Tel. : 418 643-7295; Information: Jean-Pierre D'Auteuil, Media Relations Manager, Communications Department, Ministry of the Economy and Innovation, Tel. : 418 691-5698, ext. 4868, Cell. : 418 559-0710