There is new a data center in the works for Google and it will be coming to Alabama. In a statement from Google’s Official Blog, they said that after working on expanding their data centers in states like Iowa and Georgia as well as countries like Singapore and Belgium, they will be putting a new data center right in Alabama. This will become their 14th site globally.
According to a statement from the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), the upcoming data center represents a $600 million investment in Alabama. Moreover, Google will become TVA’s 12th direct-served customer when it comes to power.
In fact, TVA is reportedly the largest public power provider in the country, serving as much as 17 municipal power companies as well as eight co-ops in North Alabama. This is how they provide power to at least 485,000 households as well as about 97,000 industrial and commercial customers on a daily basis. Moreover, the power business does not stop there for TVA as it also has direct customers in the form Alabama industrial companies and government facilities. Google falls in this customer category.
In addition, the site that Google has chosen is unique. In fact, according to TVA, the Widows Creek Fossil Plant been generating power since it started operations in July 1, 1952. This is probably what’s gotten Google quite excited. As Google explains, ” This time, we’re doing something we’ve never done before: we’ll be building on the grounds of the Widows Creek coal power plant in Jackson County, which has been scheduled for shutdown. Data centers need a lot of infrastructure to run 24/7, and there’s a lot of potential in redeveloping large industrial sites like former coal power plants.”
Furthermore, Google adds, “At Widows Creek, we can use the plants’ many electric transmission lines to bring in lots of renewable energy to power our new data center. Thanks to an arrangement with Tennessee Valley Authority, our electric utility, we’ll be able to scout new renewable energy projects and work with TVA to bring the power onto their electrical grid. Ultimately, this contributes to our goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy.”
Google is in fact proud to say that they are now able to generate 3.5 times more computing power from the same amount of energy compared to five years ago. Moreover, they are proudly “the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser in the world,” having bought as much as 1.5 of the installed wind power capacity in the United States.
Meanwhile, Fortune reports that the new data center will generate about 100 jobs for the region. Also, AL.com reports that for data centers, Google usually hires the following staff: Data Center Facilities Manager, Data Center Facilities Technician, Data Center Technician, Manager/Director Server Operations and Linux System Administrator. Google says they hope to begin construction on the new data center by early next year.