New Google Data Center To Be Built At Repurposed Power Plant

Business / Google / Science
google data center

If there’s one thing in life that we can all agree on, it’s the desire for faster internet. While a big part of that internet speed is reliant on the wireless carrier or Internet Service Provider, there’s also the matter of the data centers that your device is accessing.

On Wednesday, Google announced that it would be building a new Google data center right here in the United States, in the state of Alabama. Having recently upgraded and expanded existing data centers in Iowa, Georgia, Belgium, and Singapore, Google will be building their 14th global site.

The Widow's Creek power plant site in Jackson County, AL

The Widow’s Creek power plant site in Jackson County, AL

This site, however, will be different from all of the other data center locations – it will be built on the grounds of a retired coal power plant.

From the official Google Blog:

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. Decades of investment shouldn’t go to waste just because a site has closed; we can repurpose existing electric and other infrastructure to make sure our data centers are reliably serving our users around the world.

Google plans to use the existing electric transmission lines to bring renewable energy into the site. They state that they are working with the Tennessee Valley Authority, the local utility provider, to look for new renewable energy projects and to bring that power into the TVA grid. Google’s goal is to be powered 100% by renewable energy.

In their blog post, Google also mentioned that they are making strides in the area of energy efficiency, and will be incorporating state-of-the-art efficiency technology. Google says that compared to five years ago, they now get 3.5 times the computing power from the same amount of energy.

As the focus in the US shifts towards renewable energy sources, I imagine we’ll be seeing more coal power plants shutting down. It is good to see a facility like this being used and not sitting idle.

Your thoughts – would you care to see a data center in your state? Is there a similar type of site in your area that you’d love to see repurposed? Would love to hear your ideas in the comments!

  Source: The Google Blog
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