Everything We Know About Google’s Epic New Alabama Data Center…
Silicon Valley is opening up a major new hub next door to Madison County. At the end of June, Google announced plans to bring a high-tech data center — and 100 jobs — to northeast Alabama, in neighboring Jackson County.
Google announced their plans at a press conference at the Widows Creek Power Plant; the former coal plant will be shut down and transformed into the state-of-the-art digital plant. Google says they will use the plant’s existing transmission lines and invest in green energy projects in the region, while also working with the Tennessee Valley Authority to put that energy onto the electrical grid.
“For more than 50 years, the Widows Creek plant has generated electricity for the region,” said Gary Demasi, Google’s director of Global Infrastructure. “Now the site will be used to bring Internet services and information to people around the world — powered by 100% renewable energy.”
The data center will host an immense network of servers, which will help power and route traffic to Google’s search engine, advertising, email, YouTube, and other services. Experts agree that Google dominates the search industry; in 2014, the company owned 65 – 70% of the industry’s market share.
Google already operates 13 such data centers around the world, but the Jackson County facility will feature the company’s latest energy efficiency technology. The tech giant will now be able to generate 3.5 times more computing power with the same amount of energy as their other plants.
According to Google:
“On average, two gallons of water is consumed for every kilowatt-hour of electricity produced in the US. By using less electricity to power our computing infrastructure, we also save fresh water. Every year our efficient data centers save hundreds of millions of gallons of drinking water simply by consuming less electricity.”
The announcement represents a big win for Alabama, which has been offering tax incentives in an attempt to lure such a data center since 2012. In addition to the 100 jobs, Google will also spend $600 million to build the plant, and invest in clean energy projects in northeast Alabama.