Internet giant Google announced on Tuesday that it will invest €600 million ($684 million) to build a new data center just outside the town of Frederica in western Denmark and that it is already seeking renewable energy Power Purchase Agreements to ensure the new project will be powered by 100% renewable energy.
Google’s VP of Global Data Centers, Joe Kava, made the announcement on Google’s The Keyword blog on Tuesday, explaining that the town of Frederica was chosen for its “high-quality digital infrastructure” and support of “renewable energy production.” In addition to explaining the basics of a data center, Kava went on to highlight the importance of this new project’s location as it relates to securing renewable energy Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) — a well-disclosed priority for Google.
The company has made much of its plans to source 100% of its electricity from renewable energy sources, ever since December 2016, when it revealed its goal of finally reaching 100% by 2017. Unsurprisingly, given the company’s heft, it announced in April of this year that it had successfully sourced over 100% of its electricity needs from renewable energy sources.
But, given the company’s size and ever-expanding capacity, 100% is a continually moving target for Google, and with new data centers being built, new renewable energy sources need to be secured.
As regards the Frederica data center, which broke ground this week, Joe Kava explained that the company is “pursuing new investment opportunities (called Power Purchase Agreements, or PPAs) in Danish renewable energy projects like onshore wind, offshore wind and solar energy.” Further, while Google’s European data centers already use one-third less energy than a typical data center, the company is striving to reduce that even further and, using advanced machine learning, the Frederica data center is expected to be one of the most energy efficient data centers in the country.
The Frederica data center, which is expected to be completed in 2021, will support 1,450 jobs throughout its construction and, once operational, will support around 150 to 250 people. Google has also made a habit of supporting the communities that surround its facilities, and the company has invested nearly €3.4 million in grants to local European initiatives that support curriculum and coding programs and educational support programs.
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