Sustainability

Welcoming Internet Engine No. 15

Data centers are the engines of the Internet. As the next billion users come online—whether making payments from a mobile phone in Nairobi or sequencing DNA at Broad Institute in Boston—we need to increase our capacity to serve them, and keep things running blazing fast.


Today we’re announcing what will become our 15th global data center—we’re thrilled to be named new owners of the former Hemlock Semiconductor site in Montgomery County, Tennessee.


When selecting any site, we look at the unique attributes and base our designs around them to build the most efficient and high-performing data centers possible. For example, our newest data center in Alabama, U.S. will be built on the site of a coal power plant, and in Hamina, Finland we built on an old paper mill and use seawater as the sole cooling mechanism. 

The Hemlock site was originally developed as a Semiconductor manufacturing plant, but unfortunately was never completed. We’ll be able to re-use much of the existing infrastructure, and will recycle and re-design what we don’t. Based on our assessments, this site will be able to house new technologies we’re currently testing in research & development, which would make this data center the most technologically advanced in the world. 

We are excited to again be working with the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), who will be our electricity provider at this site. Thanks to an arrangement with TVA we’ll be able to scout new renewable energy projects and work with them to bring that power onto their electrical grid; another step toward Google’s ultimate goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy. As the largest corporate energy purchaser in the world, we have signed 2 gigawatts of renewable energy supply contracts to offset the power used across our portfolio of data centers—equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road. 

It’s a real pleasure to be moving into this space, and to become a part of Montgomery County. Total investments in this project will amount to more than $600 million, and we’ll start engaging with city and county officials to launch a formal community grants program around three issues: science and technology education, clean energy, and access to the Internet. 


While opening a data center can take years, we can’t wait to get to the drawing board to design the next internet engine in our lineup. Good things come to those who wait!