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Google Announces $1 Billion Investment for Low-Carbon, Sustainable UK Data Center

Google has recently announced an ambitious initiative to construct a state-of-the-art data center in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, representing a significant $1 billion investment. This project underscores the company's commitment to environmental sustainability, as the facility will be predominantly powered by clean, renewable energy sources. A notable feature of the new data center is its innovative heat recovery technology, designed to capture and repurpose the heat generated by the data center to benefit local homes and businesses, thereby contributing to the local community and economy.

In line with its goal to operate all data centers and campuses using carbon-free energy by 2030, Google has entered into a power purchase agreement with energy giant ENGIE. This agreement focuses on utilizing offshore wind energy from the Moray West wind farm in Scotland, which will enhance the UK's clean power capacity by 100MW and substantially progress Google's UK operations towards achieving nearly 90% carbon-free power by 2025.

The upcoming facility in Waltham Cross is an exemplar of Google's commitment to sustainable practices and a testament to the technological advancements in data center design and operation. It will employ an air-based cooling system and integrate sophisticated energy, water, and material usage practices, making it markedly more efficient than typical data centers. Using energy-efficient servers, which leverage machine learning algorithms for optimized energy usage, alongside smart temperature and lighting controls, further underscores Google's dedication to reducing energy consumption.

Google's efforts have led to a remarkable increase in efficiency. According to their 2023 Environmental Report, Google's owned and operated sites now deliver approximately three times the computing power for the same amount of electrical power compared to five years ago, illustrating a significant advancement in energy efficiency.

Debbie Weinstein, vice president of Google and managing director of Google UK & Ireland, highlighted the critical role of data centers in supporting essential services like Search, Maps, YouTube, Workspace, and Google Cloud. She emphasized the importance of investing in technical infrastructure to foster innovation and growth in the digital economy, particularly as AI-powered technologies continue transforming various sectors.

Debbie Weinstein, vice president of Google and managing director of Google UK & Ireland, said: "People and businesses in every corner of the UK rely on data centers to power helpful services like Search, Maps, YouTube, Workspace, and Google Cloud.

"As more people tap into the opportunities created by the country's digital economy and we unlock new ways for AI-powered technologies to boost productivity, fuel creativity, improve health outcomes, and unlock scientific discoveries, it's vital that we invest in the technical infrastructure needed to support innovation and tech-led growth."

This new data center is part of Google's broader investment strategy in the UK, following the $1 billion acquisition of its Central Saint Giles office in London in 2022 and the launch of an Accessibility Discovery Centre. Furthermore, Google's commitment to sustainable practices in the data center industry extends beyond the UK. In September, alongside companies like Microsoft, Danfoss, and Schneider Electric, Google co-founded a Net Zero Innovation Hub for Data Centres in Denmark, demonstrating its leadership and collaborative efforts in driving sustainable innovation in the data center sector globally.


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