Story image

Google ups EU investment to EUR 1b with new Belgium data centre and solar plant

05 Feb 2018

Google has announced plans to continue its large investment in Europe with new infrastructure planned for Belgium.

The global search giant opened its first European data centre in Belgium back in 2009 and now is going to build a third building on the same site, in addition to a new solar plant that is already up and running – the first solar facility Google has ever built on a data centre facility site.

Google will invest approximately EUR 250 million to construct the additional data centre building in Saint-Ghislain with the goal to have it completed and operational by mid 2019.

The solar plant represents a previous investment of EUR 3 million and stakes the claim of being the second largest solar plant in the region.

All up, this brings the company’s total investment into Belgium to more than EUR 1 billion.

Google continues its relentless pursuit of sustainability with the company currently calculating its final energy bills and expecting to reach its target for 100 percent renewable energy for its global operations in 2017.

Google global data centres VP Joe Kava says the photovoltaic installations will feature 10,665 solar panels and will generate 2.9 Gigawatt hour of clean, reliable, renewable energy every year.

“Construction began in March 2017, using a local company to install the solar farm on four hectares of land in our data center. Ultimately, the solar project will contribute to a greener footprint on our data center campus, already one of the most energy-efficient sites globally,” says Kava.

“It’s not the first time we’ve acted on our sustainability goals in Belgium. Saint-Ghislain was the very first Google data center to run entirely without refrigeration, using instead an advanced cooling system that draws grey water from the nearby industrial canal.”

Kava says demand for Google services is growing every day, with the continued expansion of the company’s network across Europe a clear indicator of this.

As well as Saint-Ghislain in Belgium, the company now has data centres Eemshaven in The Netherlands, Dublin, Ireland, and Hamina in Finland.

“Data centres also benefit communities through job creation. The whole Saint-Ghislain site currently employs around 350 people in full-time and contractor roles—from computer technicians to electrical and mechanical engineers, to security, catering and facilities management,” says Kava.

“With this investment of EUR 250 million, we’ll create more construction jobs, and more full-time roles in Google once the third building is complete and operational.”

Belgium Prime Minister Charles Michel joined Google for the announcement of these new projects.

"The digital world is constantly changing, and Belgium is becoming more and more attractive for big investors like Google. This new investment is excellent news for the Walloon region and Belgium in terms of job creation,” says Michel.

Protecting data centres from fire – your options
Chubb's Pierre Thorne discusses the countless potential implications of a data centre outage, and how to avoid them.
Opinion: How SD-WAN changes the game for 5G networks
5G/SD-WAN mobile edge computing and network slicing will enable and drive innovative NFV services, according to Kelly Ahuja, CEO, Versa Networks
TYAN unveils new inference-optimised GPU platforms with NVIDIA T4 accelerators
“TYAN servers with NVIDIA T4 GPUs are designed to excel at all accelerated workloads, including machine learning, deep learning, and virtual desktops.”
AMD delivers data center grunt for Google's new game streaming platform
'By combining our gaming DNA and data center technology leadership with a long-standing commitment to open platforms, AMD provides unique technologies and expertise to enable world-class cloud gaming experiences."
Inspur announces AI edge computing server with NVIDIA GPUs
“The dynamic nature and rapid expansion of AI workloads require an adaptive and optimised set of hardware, software and services for developers to utilise as they build their own solutions."
Norwegian aluminium manufacturer hit hard by LockerGoga ransomware attack
“IT systems in most business areas are impacted and Hydro is switching to manual operations as far as possible.”
HPE launches 'right mix' hybrid cloud assessment tool
HPE has launched an ‘industry-first assessment software’ to help businesses work out the right mix of hybrid cloud for their needs.
ADLINK and Charles announce multi-access pole-mounted edge AI solution
The new solution is a compact low profile pole or wall mountable unit based on an integration of ADLINK’s latest AI Edge Server MECS-7210 and Charles’ SC102 Micro Edge Enclosure.