Tag Archives: Data Centers and Infrastructure

Coming soon to the Lone Star State: more office space and a data center

We're expanding in Texas. Austin has been home to Google for over a decade and today, we’re extending our commitment to the state with a new data center in Midlothian, and the lease of two new buildings for our Austin workforce. These new commitments are part of our larger $13 billion investment in offices and data centers across the United States, which we announced earlier this year.

We’re investing $600 million to develop the Midlothian site, which will create a number of full-time jobs, as well as hundreds of construction jobs to build the new data center. As part of this investment, we’re also making a $100,000 grant to the Midlothian Independent School District to support the continued growth and development of the region’s STEM programs in schools.


In Austin, we already have more than 1,100 employees working across Android, G Suite, Google Play, Cloud, staffing and recruiting, people operations, finance and marketing. As we continue to grow, we’ve leased additional office space at Block 185 and Saltillo—located in downtown Austin and east Austin, respectively—to accommodate our short and long-term growth.

Our current downtown Austin office on W 2nd Street

Our current downtown Austin office on W 2nd Street. We will maintain our presence there while expanding to new locations at Saltillo and Block 185.

The Lone Star state has become a hub for tech innovation and we’ve been fortunate to be a part of its growth from the very beginning. It’s the amazing talent and spirit of work and play that brought us to Texas 12 years ago and it’s what keeps us here today. We look forward to meeting our new neighbors in the Midlothian-Dallas Metro area and we’re excited to be a part of these communities for many years to come.

Investing in Oklahoma and across the U.S.

Editor’s Note: This week we’re making some big moves around the $13 billion U.S. investment we announced in February. On Monday, our CFO Ruth Porat was in Michigan to announce an additional investment in our offices in Ann Arbor and Detroit. And tomorrow, we’re breaking ground on a new data center in Midlothian, TX, and expanding our office in Austin.

Today, Google CEO Sundar Pichai was in Oklahoma to announce a $600 million investment to expand our data center in Mayes County, as well as our biggest computer science education grant in Google.org’s history. Read his edited remarks below.

I enjoy visiting the places our data centers call home. I especially love to see the local touches. In the case of Pryor, it’s the mechanical bull in the lobby, which I’m told is a lot of fun. It requires good positioning, strong balance, and sometimes digging in your heels. So, not much different from my day job.

But the real reason I look forward to these visits is the community. It’s a privilege to meet the people who are making Pryor a great place to live and work.

At Google, we are technology optimists. Not because we believe in technology, but because we believe in people. 

The people of Mayes County shared our sense of optimism from the very start. That optimism is why, when Google proposed building a data center here in 2007, you welcomed us with open arms. And that optimism is what’s made it possible for Google to continue our expansion in Pryor in the years since—not once, not twice...but three times. Today’s announcement will make it four.

Pryor is already home to one of Google’s largest data centers in the country. I am pleased to announce that we will be investing another $600 million to expand the data center here and create an additional 100 jobs for the Pryor community. This brings the total investment in Oklahoma to over $3 billion, and total jobs created to more than 500.

It’s part of our $13 billion investment in expanding our data centers across the U.S. This week we also announced new investments in Michigan, and we’re breaking ground on a new data center in Texas.

This national expansion comes at a significant moment for Google. For 21 years we’ve pursued a timeless mission: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. In that time, we’ve evolved from a company that helps people find answers to a company that helps people throughout their day.

Pryor is a part of our effort to build a more helpful Google for everyone. We’ve spent more than two decades scaling our technical infrastructure to match the growth of information. And we are continuously working to make it more efficient and more reliable.

This site is an important part of our global network of data centers. This network is what powers your searches, your email, all of the photos you store and treasure, and the maps that help you find the fastest way home. And that network includes 13 locations around the world, with new data centers underway in eight additional locations.

It's a privilege to serve billions of people every day. With that privilege comes a big responsibility to ensure that information truly serves everyone. Every day, millions of Americans go online to find answers, learn new skills, and grow their businesses. Two years ago, Google announced Grow with Google, a new effort to expand economic opportunity to all Americans. A big way we do this is through digital skills training. Our partnership with Goodwill is already helping thousands of Oklahomans learn new skills and find jobs.

We’re also excited to help young people learn computer science to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow. Since 2017, we’ve been working with the National 4-H Council to create a computer science curriculum.

Today we are pleased to be able to build on this work with a $6 million grant to support computer science education in 4-H chapters across the country. This is our largest ever computer science education grant from Google.org. It will help ensure that young people in Oklahoma and 25 other states have access to the curriculum, training, and devices to learn and grow their coding skills. I look forward to joining students to do some coding later today!

Thank you to everyone who has a hand in keeping our data center running smoothly. We’re proud to call Oklahoma home, and look forward to Pryor being a vital part of the engine that powers the internet for years to come.

Let the sunshine in: opening the market for more renewable energy in Asia

Since 2010, we’ve signed on to more than 30 solar and wind projects across the Americas and Europe, making us the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. Today we’re adding a fourth continent to our clean energy portfolio: Asia.

We’ve signed a long-term agreement to purchase the output of a 10-megawatt solar array (which is part of a larger solar farm) in Tainan City, Taiwan. This deal is a result of collaboration between Google, industry stakeholders and the Taiwanese government—which recently amended Taiwan’s Electricity Act to allow non-utility companies to directly buy renewable energy and decrease their carbon footprints. We’re the first corporate power purchaser to act on this renewables-friendly change to the law.

Standing 40,000 solar panels strong, our project in Taiwan will be located 100 kilometers south of our Changhua County data center and connected to the same regional power grid. As the Taiwanese government pursues further measures to remove market barriers and reduce renewable energy costs, we’re hopeful that more companies will purchase renewable energy, driving even larger projects across Taiwan.

Google’s effort to add more renewable energy in Taiwan builds on our longstanding collaboration with governments and utilities worldwide to make clean power more accessible. As far back as 2013, we’ve worked hand-in-hand with our North Carolina electricity provider, Duke Energy, to develop a program that enables companies to source power from local solar farms. Similarly, last year we finalized an arrangement with the state of Georgia that allows corporations to buy renewable energy directly through the state’s largest electric utility.

data center tour

Gary Demasi, Senior Director of Data Center Energy and Location Strategy, gives President Tsai Ing-Wen a tour of our Taiwan data center.

For Google, the solar purchase agreement provides a long-term and fixed electricity price to support our operations in Taiwan; it will also boost the carbon-free profile of our local data center. In addition, it’s a step in the right direction for grid reliability and Taiwan’s broader energy supply mix, which the government wants to expand and make more renewable in the coming years.

Thanks to our development partners Diode Ventures, Taiyen Green Energy (臺鹽綠能),J&V Energy (雲豹能源) andNew Green Power (永鑫能源), the project will have a unique design and community impact: poles will be mounted into commercial fishing ponds (pictured below) to elevate solar panels several feet into the sky. This setup will maximize land-use efficiency (important in a densely populated region), respect local ecology (fish and solar panels can coexist peacefully), and generate local economic benefits (the fishing community will be compensated for hosting solar panels on its ponds).

taiwansolar

The Taiwanese energy developer New Green Power (永鑫能源) will deploy 40,000 solar panels for Google across commercial fishing ponds, in a way that maximizes land-use efficiency and benefits local aquaculture workers.

Our inaugural renewable energy project in Asia is an encouraging example of what’s possible when forward-thinking government officials, local stakeholders and companies work together for a brighter future. A policy landscape offering a clear path to cost-effective renewable power procurement is essential as more people and more organizations look to access carbon-free energy. We applaud Taiwan for giving the green light to green energy initiatives like ours—the first of hopefully many more in the region.

Why we’re putting 1.6 million solar panels in Tennessee and Alabama

Hundreds of engineers, electricians and construction workers are building two new, energy-efficient Google data center campuses in the Southeastern U.S.—one in Tennessee and another in northern Alabama. And we’re not stopping there—we’re also putting more carbon-free energy on the electric grid that will power our servers in the region. In the coming years, Google will purchase the output of several new solar farms as part of a deal with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), totaling 413 megawatts of power from 1.6 million solar panels—that’s equivalent to the combined size of 65,000 home rooftop solar systems.

construction

An aerial view of our Tennessee data center under construction (photo credit: Aerial Innovations).

Located in Hollywood, Alabama and Yum Yum, Tennessee, the two biggest solar farms will be able to produce around 150 megawatts each. These solar sites will be among the largest renewable energy projects in the Tennessee Valley region, and the largest solar farms ever to be built for Google. Thanks to the abundant solar power generated by these new farms, electricity consumed by our data centers in Tennessee and Alabama will be matched with 100 percent renewable energy from day one, helping us match our annual electricity consumption as we grow.

Deploying solar farms does more than provide a cost-effective way to procure clean power. It will also create economic benefits for Tennessee and northern Alabama. TVA’s developer partners—NextEra Energy Resources and Invenergy—will hire hundreds of workers in the region, make long-term lease payments to property owners, and generate millions of dollars in economic activity and tax revenue for the broader community. To date, Google's more than 30 long-term contract commitments to purchase renewable energy have resulted in nearly $5 billion in investment worldwide.

Last year, we shared our long-term objective to source carbon-free electricity around the clock for each of our data centers. These new solar projects will bring us substantially closer to that goal in the Southeastern U.S. In the carbon heat map below, you can see how well our operations in the region will be matched with carbon-free energy on an hour-by-hour basis, compared to a scenario without the solar projects. The green ribbon that appears in the heat map illustrates how the solar farms will make the majority of our daytime electricity use carbon-free.

carbon heat map solar

Thanks to the deployment of 1.6 million solar panels, approximately 72 percent of our data center electricity use in Alabama and Tennessee will be matched on an hourly basis with carbon-free sources—compared to a status-quo regional grid mix that is 48 percent carbon free. (This projection is based on 2017 TVA generation, power demand of a typical Google data center, and local solar resources.)

There’s still more to do to make our data centers fully carbon free around the world, and we have a number of ideas on how to get there. We’re one step closer thanks to the solar stardom of Hollywood, Alabama and the carbon-free flavors of Yum Yum, Tennessee.

Breaking ground for Google’s first data center in Denmark

Whenever Google looks for a new place to build a data center, it's important that the location has high-quality digital infrastructure and supports renewable energy production. Denmark has both of these things and much more—which is why we’re investing 600 million euro to build a new data center just outside Fredericia, in western Denmark.


You might be wondering: What exactly is a data center? Data centers are the heart of Google—they’re the home for a large group of servers that power our products like Search, Gmail and YouTube. When you use search or watch videos, servers in data centers around the world are working in the background, doing the heavy lifting. They keep data and information like your emails and photos safe; when you hear about “the cloud,” the data stored in the cloud is actually stored inside a data center.


To make sure that we're continuing to make space for the infrastructure that powers our products, new data centers like the one in Fredericia are crucial. In Fredericia, we’ve found a great business community and a location with existing infrastructure that fits what we’re looking for when we set out to build an efficient, modern data center.

In Fredericia, Google is committed to matching its energy use with 100 percent carbon-free energy. This commitment includes the electricity use of our data centers, too. We’re pursuing new investment opportunities (called Power Purchase Agreements, or PPAs) in Danish renewable energy projects like onshore wind, offshore wind and solar energy. In Europe, Google data centers typically use one third less energy than a typical data center, yet we’re still striving to use even less. The Fredericia data center will be among the most energy efficient data centers in Denmark to date, taking advantage of advanced machine learning to make sure every watt of electricity counts.


A new data center also leads to new job creation. Consultancy firm Copenhagen Economics (CE) has forecasted the impact the Fredericia data center will have on the local economy: according to CE, the construction will support 1,450 jobs per year in 2018-2021. Once operational, around 150-250 people are expected to be employed at the site in a range of roles—including computer technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers, catering and security staff. And, given increased economic activity expected in the area, there’s also an effect on job sectors like retail trade, hotels and transportation.


At Google, we aim to support the communities that surround our facilities, and in the last few years we’ve invested almost 3.4 million euro in grants to initiatives that build the local skills base—like curriculum and coding programs, as well as educational support through teaching collaborations at area colleges. We’ll also introduce initiatives like these in Fredericia.


With construction work expected to run through 2021, Fredericia will be Google’s fifth data center in Europe, joining our other sites in Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium. We'll look to continue investing in Europe, leading the way with green projects and building ties with the local community.

Breaking ground for Google’s first data center in Denmark

Whenever Google looks for a new place to build a data center, it's important that the location has high-quality digital infrastructure and supports renewable energy production. Denmark has both of these things and much more—which is why we’re investing 600 million euro to build a new data center just outside Fredericia, in western Denmark.


You might be wondering: What exactly is a data center? Data centers are the heart of Google—they’re the home for a large group of servers that power our products like Search, Gmail and YouTube. When you use search or watch videos, servers in data centers around the world are working in the background, doing the heavy lifting. They keep data and information like your emails and photos safe; when you hear about “the cloud,” the data stored in the cloud is actually stored inside a data center.


To make sure that we're continuing to make space for the infrastructure that powers our products, new data centers like the one in Fredericia are crucial. In Fredericia, we’ve found a great business community and a location with existing infrastructure that fits what we’re looking for when we set out to build an efficient, modern data center.

In Fredericia, Google is committed to matching its energy use with 100 percent carbon-free energy. This commitment includes the electricity use of our data centers, too. We’re pursuing new investment opportunities (called Power Purchase Agreements, or PPAs) in Danish renewable energy projects like onshore wind, offshore wind and solar energy. In Europe, Google data centers typically use one third less energy than a typical data center, yet we’re still striving to use even less. The Fredericia data center will be among the most energy efficient data centers in Denmark to date, taking advantage of advanced machine learning to make sure every watt of electricity counts.


A new data center also leads to new job creation. Consultancy firm Copenhagen Economics (CE) has forecasted the impact the Fredericia data center will have on the local economy: according to CE, the construction will support 1,450 jobs per year in 2018-2021. Once operational, around 150-250 people are expected to be employed at the site in a range of roles—including computer technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers, catering and security staff. And, given increased economic activity expected in the area, there’s also an effect on job sectors like retail trade, hotels and transportation.


At Google, we aim to support the communities that surround our facilities, and in the last few years we’ve invested almost 3.4 million euro in grants to initiatives that build the local skills base—like curriculum and coding programs, as well as educational support through teaching collaborations at area colleges. We’ll also introduce initiatives like these in Fredericia.


With construction work expected to run through 2021, Fredericia will be Google’s fifth data center in Europe, joining our other sites in Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium. We'll look to continue investing in Europe, leading the way with green projects and building ties with the local community.

A new approach to enabling abundant wireless connectivity

The ability to connect with people and services—whether that’s sending a message or streaming a video—has become part of our daily lives. Yet, far too often, we encounter situations where the connection is just too slow to use—or we have no connectivity at all.


In the U.S., while mobile Internet access is widely available, download speeds are among the slowest in the developed world. Why? You can think of wireless networks like a highway, and they’re getting congested as demand continues to grow, leading to slowdowns. So if we increase available wireless spectrum, it’s like adding lanes on a highway to carry additional traffic.


Together with a multitude of industries including mobile, cable, IoT and more, we’ve worked closely with the U.S. government to foster policies for a new shared spectrum approach to wireless connectivity. The Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) is a successful example of this approach. CBRS allows a wide array of business models to use shared spectrum—from mobile carriers to rural broadband providers to venue owners—without having to spend significant resources to acquire usage rights. A cloud-based Spectrum Access System (SAS) intelligently manages sharing between new and incumbent users. By sharing underutilized portions of spectrum, CBRS adds capacity, lowers barriers to commercial entry and paves a path to 5G.


Unlike today’s wireless networks, CBRS will consist of densely packed radios from multiple providers all sharing the same spectrum, and sometimes even the same network. This completely changes the way you plan, deploy and operate your network. We are bringing the best of Google, such as our geo-spatial insight, network infrastructure and computational capabilities to deliver a suite of products to enable CBRS networks, starting with Google’s SAS.


It is genuinely exciting to see the wireless ecosystem embrace CBRS and ultimately enhance wireless Internet for everyone. We’ve been at this for a long time, going back to a Presidential study that proposed the framework behind CBRS. Now, CBRS is rapidly approaching commercial availability with first deployments expected this year.


If you want to get started with CBRS, we’d love to hear from you.

The Internet is 24×7. Carbon-free energy should be too.

Electricity is the fuel that allows our data centers to deliver billions of Google searches, YouTube views, and much more—every single day, around the clock. Our commitment to carbon-free energy should be around the clock too.

Today we published an inside look at the sources of Google's electricity around the globe, to gauge how we're tracking toward our long-term aspiration of sourcing carbon-free energy on a truly 24x7 basis. Our new discussion paper highlights how some of our data centers—like the one in Hamina, Finland—are already performing remarkably well on this front. The paper shares location-specific “Carbon Heat Maps” to visualize how well a data center is matched with carbon-free energy on an hour-by-hour basis. For Hamina, a heat map shows that 97 percent of the facility’s electricity use last year was matched with carbon-free sources.

carbon-free_blog-asset_Finland-heatmap.jpg

Last year, 97 percent of our Finland data center’s electricity use was matched on an hourly basis with carbon-free sources.

The predominance of carbon-free energy at our Finland data center is partly due to Google’s purchases of wind energy in the Nordic region. Indeed, our large-scale procurement of wind and solar power worldwide is a cornerstone of our sustainability efforts, and has made Google the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy. Last year we matched 100 percent of our annual electricity consumption with renewable energy purchases, and will continue to do so as we grow.

In many cases, we’ve partnered with local utilities and governments to increase the supply of renewable energy in the regions where we operate. For example, near our data center in Lenoir, NC, we worked with our local electricity supplier to establish one of the first utility solar purchase programs in the U.S. Solar alone, however, is unable to provide electricity around the clock. When the sun is shining, our Lenoir data center is quite carbon-free (indicated by the midday green ribbon in the Carbon Heat Map below), but at nighttime it’s more carbon-intensive; we plan to tackle this issue in the coming years by procuring additional types of carbon-free energy.

carbon-free_blog-asset_NC-heatmap.jpg

Last year, 67 percent of our North Carolina data center’s electricity use was matched on an hourly basis with carbon-free sources.

The Carbon Heat Maps demonstrate that there are times and places where our electricity profile is not yet fully carbon-free. They suggest that our 100 percent renewable energy purchasing goal—which relies on buying surplus renewable energy when it’s sunny and windy, to offset the lack of renewable energy supply in other situations—is an important first step toward achieving a fully carbon-free future. Ultimately, we aspire to source carbon-free energy for our operations in all places, at all times.

Creating a carbon-free future will be no easy feat, but the urgency of climate change demands bold solutions. Our discussion paper identifies several key actions that we and the rest of the world must take—including doubling down on renewable energy purchases in a greater number of regions—to achieve 24x7 carbon-free energy. We have our work cut out for us and couldn’t be more excited to push forward.