Google breaks ground on Alabama data center

Google breaks ground on Alabama data center

Google breaks ground on Alabama data center

Google executives joined with top Alabama elected officials in Bridgeport Monday to officially break ground on the new $600 million data center.

Google's newest data center is being constructed on a property of over 500 acres adjacent to the site of the decommissioned Widows Creek coal-fired power plant once operated by the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA).

The data center will eventually employ as many as 100 people including software technicians and system administrators.

The data center has been eagerly awaited by a community hit by the loss of a power plant that, at its peak, employed hundreds of people. "Therefore we ask that Project Maven be cancelled, and that Google draft, publicize and enforce a clear policy stating that neither Google nor its contractors will ever build warfare technology".

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey speaks at the groundbreaking. "This particular project has so much meaning not only for Jackson County but also for the state of Alabama", said Greg Canfield, secretary of the Alabama Department of Commerce.

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I don't think we will go into it (against City) with any complacency, we would be stupid if we did that". He added: "We enjoy this tonight and then we start again tomorrow.

Work already has been going on for weeks at the location, which includes the site of the old Widows Creek power plant. Google says its data centers use 50 percent less energy than other comparable data centers.

Bridgeport mayor David "Bubba" Hughes called Google's development a game-changer for the small city on the north end of Jackson County.

About 100 highly skilled technical workers will be hired to work at the site. "We're so glad that when Google made a decision to search for a place to put a data center that they found Alabama". The company was one of the first to begin buying renewables on a large scale in 2010 and achieved 100 percent renewable energy for its operations in 2017.

"Bridgeport is just the flawless balance of land, power, water and a great community for the workforce", said Brenda Standridge, Google's Alabama project manager. "No doubt about it - this is a game-changer for us". They want Jackson County students to stay right here and work for them at this new data center.

This story originally appeared on the Alabama Department of Commerce's Made in Alabama website.

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