Google has continued to see outstanding success in recent years, and this growth has come with a need for more and more computing power. This, of course, means they need additional data centers and other facilities to support their operations. In 2018, Google spent $9 billion on data center and office construction, which is quite impressive on its own. They recently announced that in 2019, they are bumping that up even further to $13 billion. This is specifically on US facilities.
What is Google Building?
Google has released some information on where this $13 billion will be spent. The bulk of the investment will be in building four brand new data center facilities, along with the office space to support them. In addition, major investments will be made at three existing locations that they are performing ‘major expansions’ on. When done, this will bring Google’s total footprint in the US to 24 states, which is important for being able to serve the massive demand for the data that they provide.
The CEO of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, Sundar Pichai, noted, “2019 marks the second year in a row we’ll be growing faster outside of the Bay Area than in it.” This is an important point because it shows how crucial it is becoming for major tech companies to have data center locations spread out to be near more of their customers.
This helps in two significant ways: First, it will cut down the distance that data has to travel, which can increase speeds. In addition, it offers improved disaster recovery and avoidance measures since it would be unlikely that a single disaster event would be able to take down all their services.
Google has not yet announced what each of the new facilities, or the expanded facilities will be used for. It can be assumed that they will be used to support their various different services including search, YouTube, and much more.
Google’s Growth Benefiting the Economy
The economy in the US is already quite strong, and this growth from Google is going to result in some significant benefits for the areas around the construction locations. In Google’s announcement, they said that they expect these projects to create around 10,000 new construction jobs. These jobs will be located in Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Texas, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Virginia.
As the new facilities and the expanded portions of the existing facilities come online, they will also create many permanent Google employees. They didn’t provide an exact number, but simply said that when all the facilities are fully operational, they will result in ‘tens of thousands’ of new employees on the payroll.
Investing in Green Energy
In addition to the data center investments themselves, Google is also going to be making investments into renewable energy in the areas around the facilities. Pichai commented, “Our new data center investments, in particular, will enhance our ability to provide the fastest and most reliable services for all our users and customers. As part of our commitment to our 100 percent renewable energy purchasing, we’re also making significant renewable energy investments in the U.S. as we grow.”
Specifically, Google has made an agreement with the Tennessee Valley Authority to purchase the energy output from several new solar farms that are coming online. This will be a total of about 413MW of electricity, which is being generated from 1.6 million new solar panels. This will help to encourage additional solar farms to be built to continue to increase the total amount of green energy being generated in the US.