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Google Announces $600,000,000 Data Center Investment in Jackson County, Alabama

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Wednesday, June 24, 2015

This is THE biggest news for Alabama since development of NASA at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville!

Google Announces $600,000,000 data center investment in Jackson County, AL

100% powered by Renewable Energy

A power plant for the Internet: our newest data center in Alabama

Posted: Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Every time you check your Gmail, search on Google for a nearby restaurant, or watch a YouTube video, a server whirs to life in one of our data centers. Data centers are the engines of the Internet, bringing the power of the web to millions of people around the world. And as millions more people come online, our data centers are growing, too.

We’ve recently expanded our data centers in Iowa, Georgia, Singapore and Belgium. And today we’re announcing a new data center in Alabama—our 14th site globally.

This time, we’re doing something we’ve never done before: we’ll be building on the grounds of the Widows Creek coal power plant in Jackson County, which has been scheduled for shutdown. Data centers need a lot of infrastructure to run 24/7, and there’s a lot of potential in redeveloping large industrial sites like former coal power plants. Decades of investment shouldn’t go to waste just because a site has closed; we can repurpose existing electric and other infrastructure to make sure our data centers are reliably serving our users around the world.

TVA Widow's Creek fossil plant will be the site for Google's 14th, and newest Data Center, and represents a $600,000,000 investment in Alabama.

TVA Widow’s Creek fossil plant will be the site for Google’s 14th, and newest Data Center, and represents a $600,000,000 investment in Alabama.

At Widows Creek, we can use the plants’ many electric transmission lines to bring in lots of renewable energy to power our new data center. Thanks to an arrangement with Tennessee Valley Authority, our electric utility, we’ll be able to scout new renewable energy projects and work with TVA to bring the power onto their electrical grid. Ultimately, this contributes to our goal of being powered by 100% renewable energy.

In 2010, we were one of the first companies outside of the utility industry to buy large amounts of renewable energy. Since then, we’ve become the largest corporate renewable energy purchaser in the world (in fact we’ve bought the equivalent of over 1.5 percent of the installed wind power capacity in the U.S.). We’re glad to see this trend is catching on among other companies.

Of course, the cleanest energy is the energy you don’t use. Our Alabama data center will incorporate our state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies. We’ve built our own super-efficient servers, invented more efficient ways to cool our data centers, and even used advanced machine learning to squeeze more out of every watt of power we consume. Compared to five years ago, we now get 3.5 times the computing power out of the same amount of energy.

Since the 1960s, Widows Creek has generated power for the region—now the site will be used to power Internet services and bring information to people around the world. We expect to begin construction early next year and look forward to bringing a Google data center to Alabama.


Google is proud to be building a data center in Jackson County.

In June 2015, we announced our plans to build a data center in Jackson County. We anticipate starting construction in 2016.

Once fully operational, our data center will employ up to 75 employees in a variety of full-time and contractor roles, including computer technicians, engineers, and various food services, maintenance and security roles.

Why did Google choose Jackson County?

Jackson County has the right combination of energy infrastructure and developable land. Jackson County and the state of Alabama have also worked incredibly hard to make this site work for one of our data centers. We are looking forward to being a part of this community for many years to come.

Jackson County, Alabama - Tennessee River, location of Google's newest, and 14th Data Center, an investment of $600,000,000 in Alabama

Jackson County, Alabama – Tennessee River, TVA’s Widow’s Creek Fossil Plant will be the location of Google’s newest, and 14th Data Center, which represents an investment of $600,000,000 in Alabama

Who do I contact for more information?

For community-related questions, email; JacksonCounty@google.com. If you are a member of the media, please contact press@google.com.

For more answers to our most frequently asked questions, visit our FAQ section.

Related sites

Google Green
Learn more about Google’s environmental initiatives.

Jackson County, Alabama

Job opportunities

Google hires the most qualified individuals from around the world. We don’t know in advance how many people we will hire locally, but we make it a priority to hire from within the community whenever possible because it‘s good for business and the right thing to do.

Applying for a job

Our hiring process at each data center starts with leadership positions requiring a good deal of experience and responsibility. Once we fill these leadership positions, we look for data technicians and other personnel. While we are not currently hiring for positions at this location, please visit our careers site to see what kind of jobs we look for in our data centers.

Here are some examples of the types of employees a data center needs to succeed:

  • Data Center Facilities Manager – Responsible for managing the data center facilities. Ideal candidates have experience managing a medium to large data center, or critical infrastructure and an undergraduate degree in an engineering field.
  • Data Center Facilities Technician – Responsible for day-to-day operating, monitoring, and supporting the data center. Ideal candidates have an associate’s degree, trade school certification, or other verifiable training in a relevant technical field. Experience as a journeyman or mechanical with HVAC or electrical expertise preferred.
  • Linux System Administrator – Responsible for configuring system and network parameters, monitoring system stability and performance, and developing tools to monitor and maintain systems. Ideal candidates have multiple years of Linux experience; working knowledge of TCP/IP networking; knowledge of web servers, firewalls/security, NIS/NFS, DNS, and MTAs; programming/scripting ability (e.g., bourne, bash, perl, python, C); and the ability to work cooperatively as a member of a team.
  • Data Center Technician – Responsible for installing servers and network gear, maintaining and deploying new servers, and maintaining data center equipment on a day-to-day basis. Ideal candidates have at least two years of PC hardware and troubleshooting experience and at least one year of Linux experience.
  • Manager/Director Server Operations – Responsible for managing several teams dedicated to improving our server operations. Ideal candidates have strong management experience in a technical field. A BS in an Applied Science and a MS/PhD is preferred.

Due to the large number of applications we receive daily, we cannot accept resumes that are not for a specific position or location. Also, it may take us several months to follow-up with an applicant, so please be patient.

For information on contract opportunities in fields such as security, landscape and food service, please see the “Contractors and vendors” section below.

Contractors and Vendors

We contract with local vendors whenever possible and will continue to post opportunities here as they arise. While all of our contracting needs are currently met, we’re happy to forward any vendor inquiry to the appropriate resource for consideration. If you are vendor or are interested in providing a service to Google, please provide additional information through our supplier interest form.

In addition, we contract with our vendor G4S for security at all our facilities. Frequently, G4S hires regionally for open positions on their website.

Jackson County, Alabama

In the community

We’re committed to playing a positive role in every community we are a part of around the world. Through grant-making and local initiatives that utilize our tools and expertise, we will be working in Jackson County to help businesses, educational institutions, community collaboratives, nonprofits and individuals create and thrive in a sustainable, knowledge-based economy. We are also always on the lookout for opportunities for Googlers to share their expertise and their time with the local community.

Community grants

When we finish building our data center, we will launch a formal community grants program in Jackson County that will support organizations and initiatives that focus on three issues we’re passionate about: science and technology education, carbon reduction, and access to the Internet. We are still finalizing the details of the program for this location. Once the data center is operational, please check back here for more information on how to apply and the types of grants we will make available.

Green initiatives

Google is also committed to supporting innovation that will contribute to carbon reduction. We welcome proposals from data center communities that will lead to less carbon emissions in the immediate region, including projects that will increase the renewable energy mix powering our data centers. Projects can include efficiency enhancements as well as the generation of new energy sources. We’ll be looking for cost of generation, innovation, and total carbon reduction. Concept papers are accepted at any time. To submit proposals, please contact us.

Other ideas?

If you’d like to suggest additional ways that Google can become more involved in the community, please contact us.

Data Center
Widow’s Creek

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