Google is investing $1 billion to construct a new data centre in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. The data centre will occupy a 33-acre site Google acquired in October 2020. Such centres power Google Cloud, Workspace (which includes Gmail, Docs, Sheets, and more), search, and maps. Google declared that ongoing investment in its technical structure, including data centres, is vital in supporting artificial intelligence innovation and cloud growth in the UK.
According to Ruth Porat, president and chief investment officer of Alphabet and Google, the new data centre builds upon the company’s previous UK investments that include the Saint Giles and Kings Cross office complexes, a multi-year research collaboration agreement with the University of Cambridge, and the Grace Hopper subsea cable linking the UK with the United States and Spain. She stated that the new data centre will help satisfy demand for AI and cloud services while creating technical and construction employment for the local community. Porat added that Google is working toward making Artificial Intelligence more accessible, given that the company’s services are relied upon by companies and people worldwide.
The company is committed to achieving net-zero emissions throughout its operations and value chain by 2030 through an ambitious target to run all its data centres and campuses on carbon-free energy every hour of every day. In support of this objective, Google announced a power-purchase agreement with ENGIE in 2022 for offshore wind energy produced by the Moray West wind farm in Scotland, offering an extra 100 MW of carbon-free energy to the grid. The new facility will be built with off-site heat recovery capabilities in mind, which would serve as an opportunity for energy conservation and benefit the community. An air-based cooling solution will be deployed at the data centre.
Google’s $1bn investment in the UK data centre is a testament to how the UK offers a significant capacity for growth in technology, as noted by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. The country is an ideal location for foreign investment, and businesses such as those associated with this data centre will assist in driving growth during the following decade. Councillor Lewis Cocking, leader of Broxbourne Council, commended Google for selecting Broxbourne for the new data centre, citing the region’s rising significance as a hub for technology and innovation. The council is dedicated to partnering with key stakeholders to ensure a successful outcome for all involved.
Google has been present in the UK for over two decades, employing over 7,000 people in the country.