Google has plans to invest US$1 billion in a new 33-acre data center in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, UK. This move is aimed at addressing the increasing demand for Google's AI and cloud services. The facility is expected to enhance compute capacity, supporting AI innovation and ensuring reliable digital services for Google Cloud customers, as well as users of products like Search, Maps, and YouTube.
The data center is part of Google's broader commitment to the country, complementing previous investments like the Saint Giles and Kings Cross offices, a research deal with Cambridge, and the Grace Hopper subsea cable connecting the UK, the U.S., and Spain. It would meet the growing demand for AI and cloud services while creating jobs for the local community.
Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt commented, “The UK is the tech hub of Europe with an ecosystem worth more than that of Germany and France combined – and this investment is another vote of confidence in us as a science superpower.”
Google aims to power its data centers entirely with carbon-free energy by 2030. The company signed an offshore wind energy deal with ENGIE for its Moray West farm in Scotland last year, contributing to its goal of achieving 90 percent clean energy for UK operations by 2025.
The new data center in Waltham Cross will not only recover heat for local use but also employ an air-cooling system, aligning with its global initiative to make its operations more environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Beyond infrastructure investments, Google has actively contributed to the UK's digital landscape by providing digital skills training to over a million individuals and expanding its AI-focused Digital Garage curriculum to meet growing technology demands.
This announcement from Google follows Microsoft's confirmation of a £2.5 billion data center in the UK, marking the company's largest investment in its 40-year history in the country. Microsoft's data center aims to support the increasing demand for efficient, scalable, and sustainable AI-specific compute power.