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Lab West data centre gets approval for electricity from Public Utilities Board

Pictured at the BlockLAB location are from left, Curtis Doran (BlockLAB), Labrador West MHA Graham Letto, Wabush town manager Charlie Perry, Mike Darrigan (BlockLAB), Wabush Councillor Gertie Canning, Robert Burton, (BlockLAB) and Sarah Flynn (BlockLAB).
Pictured at the BlockLAB location are from left, Curtis Doran (BlockLAB), Labrador West MHA Graham Letto, Wabush town manager Charlie Perry, Mike Darrigan (BlockLAB), Wabush Councillor Gertie Canning, Robert Burton, (BlockLAB) and Sarah Flight(BlockLAB). - Contributed

Big step foward

A new data centre in Labrador West has been given approval for 7.75 megawatts of electricity for a new facility they are establishing in the area.
The idea started in 2016, co-founder and chief executive officer of BlockLAB, Mike Darrigan told The Aurora. BlockLAB will operate a block chain data technology centre out of the Wabush industrial park.
“It’s a big step for us,” says Darrigan, who says they will provide emerging technology for all data technologies. “That could be for things like AI, video rendering and much much more, wherever there is a need for massive amounts of data.”
Darrigan explained that the project is a local one. Right now six people are involved part-time, but he says they envision they will provide 12 high-paying jobs, and hope to continue to grow and increase those numbers.
Darrigan says the group did a lot of research, did their due diligence and met with stakeholders.

“We heard concerns from other similar operations in parts of the province and we hope we have solved many of those issues,” he said. “We heard concerns about noise, and the possibility of centers causing electricity rates to rise.”

He says they know noise won’t be an issue at the Wabush facility, and he says they believe the centre will increase revenue for Hydro. However, that being said, the BlockLAB group will have information meetings Aug. 28 at the Two Seasons Inn, Labrador City and Aug. 29 at the Wabush Hotel. Both meetings are scheduled for 7 p.m.
“If people have questions or concerns, we are there to address them,” said Darrigan.
He said they are thrilled with the project, and the chance to diversify the local economy and provide good paying jobs. He also hopes that such projects can also provide further economic spinoffs.
Several other data centers operate in Labrador West, and Darrigan says the attractive hydro rates, cold climate, competent workers and low humidity are some of the factors that make it an ideal place for companies like BlockLAB to set up.

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