Google has begun construction on a new data centre in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, representing a $1 billion investment in the UK from the tech giant.
Situated on a site the company purchased in October 2020, the facility will provide services to Google Cloud customers and Google users in the UK.
“The Waltham Cross data centre represents our latest investment in the UK and the wider digital economy at large,” said Ruth Porat, President & Chief Investment Officer, Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet and Google.
“This investment builds upon our Saint Giles and Kings Cross office developments, our multi-year research collaboration agreement with the University of Cambridge, and the Grace Hopper subsea cable that connects the UK with the United States and Spain. This new data centre will help meet growing demand for our AI and cloud services and bring crucial compute capacity to businesses across the UK while creating construction and technical jobs for the local community. Together with the UK government, we are working to make AI more helpful and accessible for people and organisations across the country.”
The site will utilise an air-based cooling solution and will be able to provide off-site heat recovery for use within the surrounding community.
Google has said it is aiming to achieve net zero emissions across its operations by 2030, with the goal of running all of its data centres and campuses on carbon free energy (CFE). In 2022, Google announced a power purchase agreement with ENGIE for offshore wind energy generated by the Moray West wind farm in Scotland, which provides 100 MW energy to the grid.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said, “The UK is a fantastic place to invest, and Google’s $1 billion investment is testament to the fact that the UK is a centre of excellence in technology and has huge potential for growth.
“Foreign investment creates jobs and grows all regions of our economy and investments like this will help to drive growth in the decade ahead. I will continue to back businesses to invest and innovate here in the UK.”
Councillor Lewis Cocking, Leader of Broxbourne Council added: “I am delighted that Google has chosen Broxbourne for its new data centre. This is a sign of Broxbourne’s growing importance as a hub for technology and innovation.
“Through this development and others, this part of the Borough is attracting millions of pounds of investment which will improve the local economy and create thousands of jobs. The council is committed to working with our partners to make this, and other developments, a great success for everyone involved.”