Google Data Centres: Prioritising Technical Infrastructure

Tech giant Google commits to new million-dollar data centre sites in significant locations across the United States (US) and Europe to boost AI and cloud

Google is honouring its commitment to expand its data centre strategy around the world, having announced several new data centres in key strategic locations Indiana and Virginia in the US. 

The new data centre campus in Fort Wayne, Indiana, is a US$2bn investment that will see Google collaborating with Indiana Michigan Power Company (I&M) to add clean energy to the local grid. Additionally, its US$1bn Virginia expansion project will grow two existing sites and a newly opened campus, bringing Google’s total investment in the state to US$4.2bn.

Continuing to invest in technical infrastructure, particularly within the data centre sector, is paramount for Google’s AI innovations. The company’s data centres help power popular digital services worldwide, including Google Cloud, Workspace, Search and Maps.

A burgeoning global data centre empire

Google’s news comes several months after the company announced a US$1bn investment into a brand new UK data centre, which aimed to support AI growth and infrastructure across Europe.

Partnering with I&M in Fort Wayne aims to advance the clean energy transition and help maintain affordable and reliable services for I&M customers. These efforts include bringing clean energy to the local electricity grid, in addition to supporting Google’s ambitious goal to run all its data centres and campuses on carbon-free energy (CFE) by 2030.

“We are thrilled to announce our investment in Fort Wayne as the site for our newest data centre,” says Joe Kava, Vice President, Global Data Centers at Google. “Our decision to make a commitment of this magnitude is a true testament to the strategic and collaborative nature of many leaders across Indiana, Allen County, and, particularly, Fort Wayne. 

“Together, Fort Wayne and Google will help power the digital future, including AI innovation across our enterprise and consumer services.”

Google already matches 100% of its global annual electricity consumption with renewable energy purchases. As a global leader in computing infrastructure, its data centres are already some of the most efficient worldwide.

As a hyperscaler, having clear sustainability-led initiatives is more important than ever for Google, especially as demand for new technologies like AI continues to swell.

AI access: Prioritising digital education

The announcements are part of a big push from the leading technology company to invest in internet infrastructure and AI skills.

Part of this includes a new US$75m Google AI Opportunity Fund that aims to work with a range of sectors such as non-profit and education to train one million Americans, regardless of background, and provide them with AI skills at no cost.

“Fulfilling our mission is about more than delivering infrastructure and enabling access to information — it is also about helping people grow their skills, businesses, and careers,” says Ruth Porat, President and Chief Investment Officer at Google. “Together with our partners, we want to make sure everyone can take advantage of the opportunities AI will provide.”

Priorities are shifting for businesses as they seek to upskill - or in some cases reskill - their workforces to stay ahead of the curve. This will become increasingly prevalent within the data centre industry, as increasing numbers of customers continue to demand greater access to AI.

Google follows its competitor companies also investing in similar AI training programmes, including Microsoft’s AI Skills Challenge launched at the end of 2023, in addition to other leading organisations such as the BBC harnessing AI to improve education offerings.

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