Why is British Columbia a growing market for data centers?

View of a server room in a data center

Data centers, powered by water

British Columbia offers clean energy, low-cost power, and a business-friendly environment—it is no surprise that the west coast Canadian province is gaining attention from tech savvy businesses.

Through to the end of 2026, BC Hydro is offering a total of CAD$52 million in funding to help eligible businesses reduce their setup costs.

Why choose BC Hydro and British Columbia?

  • Hydroelectricity: over 98% of the power we generate is from clean, renewable sources
  • Low rates: discounted rates for data centers and the third-lowest industrial energy rates in North America
  • Industrial sites: a portfolio of qualified properties already connected to our integrated grid
  • Capacity growth: our generation capacity will increase by 1,100 MW to 13,100 MW in 2025 
  • New data infrastructure: Google's new Topaz subsea cable will be complete in 2023, providing a direct fiber connection between Canada and Asia

These are just some of the reasons why first-mover industry leaders such as including Cologix, Cyxtera, eStruxture, and Equinix choose B.C. for their data centers.

Clean, renewable power

British Columbia is a powerhouse of clean, renewable energy, enabling businesses to reduce the carbon footprint of their operations. Our system consists of 30 hydroelectric plants and a network of over 49,710 miles (80,000 kilometers) of power lines.

Low-cost energy

B.C.'s energy rates are among the lowest in the US and Canada. Even before BC Hydro's industrial discount is applied, our rates are the third lowest in North America. Our hydroelectricity is a low-cost energy source available at a consistently stable rate, currently at 5.23¢/kWh (CAD$).

By locating a data center in British Columbia, businesses benefit from lower energy costs, mitigating the risk of energy scarcity and volatile energy prices in other jurisdictions.

Montreal, QC
Vancouver, BC
Portland, OR²
Ottawa, ON
Winnipeg, MB
Toronto, ON²
Seattle, WA
Edmonton, AB
Calgary, AB
San Francisco, CA²

Power demand: 50,000 KW3

Consumption: 30,600,000 kWh/month

Voltage: 120 kV

Load factor: 85%

1. Source: Hydro-Québec 2022 and BC Hydro 2022.
2. These bills have been estimated by Hydro-Québec and may differ from actual bills.
3. Customer-owned transformer.
4. In CAD ¢/kWh

Full listing of available energy rates in North America

Reliable and robust infrastructure

Hydroelectricity is the strategic choice for data centers. With the redundancy offered by the integrated grid, BC Hydro provides stable power to future-proof your data center operation and minimize downtime risk. Hydroelectricity avoids the intermittency challenges of other renewables, mitigating the cost and environmental impact of battery energy storage systems.

Inside a server room

Act now, funding is available until 2026

Contact us to find out if your operation is eligible for a portion of the CAD$52 million in funding available.

Our experts can advise you on rates, funding opportunities, available industrial sites, and the full benefits of siting a data center on the west coast of Canada.

Secure clean, low-cost energy for years to come—choose British Columbia and BC Hydro.