Google has opened its first Dutch data center powered by 100% renewable energy from day one in Eemshaven, the Netherlands.
The $640 million data center, which was constructed in two years, will employ 200 people. The center, which supports cloud computing services, includes almost 1,000 miles of computer cables.
The Eemshaven data center is Google’s fourth data center in Europe and took two years to complete. It is the first Google data center to run on 100 percent renewable energy, sourced from a nearby wind farm in Delfzijl.
Google chose Eemshaven because of the region’s tech infrastructure, central location, and nearby universities. Eemshaven also offers valuable natural resources like wind power, water, and available land. Google will maintain a strong presence in the Netherlands, according to Joe Kava, Vice President.
Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs Henk Kamp added that the new data center will further improve the region’s IT infrastructure. Google will also offer education programs for Groningen’s youth.
After starting discussions starting in 2012, Google chose to build a data center in the Groningen province because of the quality of the local infrastructure including a suitably sized plot of land, the capacity of the electrical grid, water for cooling, and high-speed fiber connectivity. Since then, 6,000,000 work hours have gone into getting the datacenter ready for the opening and technicians have run enough computer cables–16000 km in total– to reach from Eemshaven to Australia if laid end to end.
Google has worked to give back to the community of Groningen with initiatives like teaching kids coding at Hanze Hogeschool, several nature projects and training students and entrepreneurs in digital skills with the Digitale Werkplaats. The data center opening is about Google making a home in Groningen, about employing local talent, and for Google saying they’re here for the long term, and Google looks forward to being part of the community.
Google’s investment in the Netherlands reflects its commitment to sustainability. The company is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. Google also recently announced that all of its global operations will run on renewable energy by 2017.