Whenever Google looks for a new place to build a data center, it’s important that the location has high-quality digital infrastructure and supports renewable energy production. Denmark has both of these things and much more—which is why we’re investing 600 million euro to build a new data center just outside Fredericia, in western Denmark.
You might be wondering: What exactly is a data center? Data centers are the heart of Google—they’re the home for a large group of servers that power our products like Search, Gmail and YouTube. When you use search or watch videos, servers in data centers around the world are working in the background, doing the heavy lifting. They keep data and information like your emails and photos safe; when you hear about “the cloud,” the data stored in the cloud is actually stored inside a data center.
To make sure that we’re continuing to make space for the infrastructure that powers our products, new data centers like the one in Fredericia are crucial. In Fredericia, we’ve found a great business community and a location with existing infrastructure that fits what we’re looking for when we set out to build an efficient, modern data center.
In Fredericia, Google is committed to matching its energy use with 100 percent carbon-free energy. This commitment includes the electricity use of our data centers, too. We’re pursuing new investment opportunities (called Power Purchase Agreements, or PPAs) in Danish renewable energy projects like onshore wind, offshore wind and solar energy. In Europe, Google data centers typically use one third less energy than a typical data center, yet we’re still striving to use even less. The Fredericia data center will be among the most energy efficient data centers in Denmark to date, taking advantage of advanced machine learning to make sure every watt of electricity counts.
A new data center also leads to new job creation. Consultancy firm Copenhagen Economics (CE) has forecasted the impact the Fredericia data center will have on the local economy: according to CE, the construction will support 1,450 jobs per year in 2018-2021. Once operational, around 150-250 people are expected to be employed at the site in a range of roles—including computer technicians, electrical and mechanical engineers, catering and security staff. And, given increased economic activity expected in the area, there’s also an effect on job sectors like retail trade, hotels and transportation.
At Google, we aim to support the communities that surround our facilities, and in the last few years we’ve invested almost 3.4 million euro in grants to initiatives that build the local skills base—like curriculum and coding programs, as well as educational support through teaching collaborations at area colleges. We’ll also introduce initiatives like these in Fredericia.
With construction work expected to run through 2021, Fredericia will be Google’s fifth data center in Europe, joining our other sites in Ireland, Finland, the Netherlands and Belgium. We’ll look to continue investing in Europe, leading the way with green projects and building ties with the local community.