Google Building $600 Million Data Center in Alabama

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Alabama Governor Robert Bentley says Google is planning to build a $600 million data center in northeast Alabama.

Bentley said Wednesday that Google will build the data center on a 350 acre plot of land in Stevenson owned by the Tennessee Valley Authority. Stevenson is about 60 miles northeast of Huntsville.

Bentley says the data center is expected to create up to 100 jobs and is being built at the Widows Creek power plant, which is being shut down. Google’s Director of Global Infrastructure Gary Demasi said in a statement that the company sees “a lot of potential in redeveloping large industrial sites like former coal plants.”

“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,” says Patrick Gammons, Google’s Senior Manager for Data Center Energy and Location Strategy in a statement on Google’s blog.

“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,” adds Gammons. “Compared to five years ago, we now get 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of energy.”

Officials say the center will support Internet traffic and other web-based services Google offers.

According to Google’s blog, Google was one of the first non-utilities to buy large quantities of renewable energy. Since 2010, Google says they’ve “become the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser in the world.”