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Google breaks ground at Alabama site

It’s been nearly three years since technical giant Google announced its 360-acre data centre campus in Alabama and to start work at this North American site. A ground-breaking ceremony was held last week showing that even the world’s biggest corporations are not immune to delays. Announced in June 2015 and located in Jackson County, Bridgeport, the campus will amount to a capital expenditure of around $600m and create up to 100 jobs. 

Community grants and calls for proposals from data centre communities that will lead to less carbon emissions and a more sustainable environment have also been made as the company finally embarks on this substantial data centre project. Land has also been acquired land in Europe and elsewhere in the US for further expansion but the Alabama site is the first to see shovels and spades put to work.

According to Google, the location was selected based on the available energy infrastructure and developed land. It has also launched an open call for proposals from data centre communities that will lead to less carbon emissions in the immediate region, including projects that will increase the renewable energy mix powering Google’s data centres. Projects can include efficiency enhancements as well as the generation of new energy sources.

“We will be looking for cost of generation, innovation, and total carbon reduction. Concept papers are accepted at any time,” the company said in a statement. While at the breaking ground ceremony, Google has also announced a set of community grants, including the donation of $100,000 to the Jackson County School District in a bid to boost youth interest in STEM subjects.

Dr Nan Boden, senior director and head of Global Technology Partners for Google Cloud, said: “Google is committed to investing in Jackson County to create new economic and educational opportunities for the people of Alabama and the surrounding region.

Alabama’s Governor Kay Ivey, said: “As one of the world’s most dynamic and innovative technology companies, Google’s products touch billions of people across the globe every single day.

“We’re proud that Alabama is playing an important role in Google’s future growth, and we look forward to seeing this data centre operation help power that growth.”

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