In a strategic move to sustain and enhance the growing demand for artificial intelligence (AI) and cloud services, Google has revealed plans to invest $1 billion in a new data center in the UK. Located in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, this 33-acre site promises to significantly increase computing capacity for businesses, supporting innovation in AI and ensuring reliable digital services for Google Cloud customers and general users of products like Search, Maps, and YouTube.
Ruth Porat, the Chief Financial Officer of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, emphasized that the data center “represents our latest investment in the UK and the broader digital economy.” This initiative adds to Google’s previous investments in the country, such as the acquisition of offices in Saint Giles and Kings Cross, a multi-year research partnership with Cambridge, and the Grace Hopper submarine cable connecting the UK to the US and Spain.
Porat explained that this new center will help meet the “growing demand” for Google’s AI and cloud services and bring critical computing capacity to businesses across the UK, creating construction and technical jobs for the local community.
As pioneers in computing infrastructure, Google’s data centers are some of the most efficient in the world. The company has committed to power them entirely with carbon-free energy 24/7 by 2030.
Last year, Google entered into an agreement with ENGIE for offshore wind power from the Moray West wind farm in Scotland, providing 100MW of energy and steering UK operations towards 90% clean energy by 2025.
The new data center will not only recycle heat for local homes and businesses but also implement an air-cooling system.
This center is “the latest in a series of investments supporting the UK and the broader economy,” confirming Porat, evidence of “Google’s ongoing commitment to the UK.” In addition to this project, Google has invested $1 billion in office space in Central Saint Giles, developed a one-million-square-foot campus in King’s Cross, and launched an Accessibility Discovery Center to drive the creation of accessible technology.
Beyond offices, data centers, and submarine cables, Google has also provided digital skills training to over a million Britons and expanded its AI-focused Digital Garage curriculum.
This announcement from Google follows Microsoft’s confirmation of a £2.5 billion data center in the UK last November, after overcoming regulatory hurdles for its acquisition of Activision Blizzard for £55 billion.
“The UK is Europe’s tech hub with an ecosystem valued at more than Germany and France combined – and this investment is another vote of confidence in us as a scientific superpower,” stated Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt.
Google’s investment in a new data center in the UK underscores a continued commitment to supporting the digital economy and advancing AI technology, promoting technological growth and ensuring vital infrastructure for innovation and technological development.
Source: Google Blog