Google invests $1bn in a new UK data centre

Published: 23-Jan-2024

The $1bn new UK data centre in the UK has been earmarked to bring computing capacity to the UK and support AI innovation

Google has announced that it is investing $1bn in a new UK data centre in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. 

The 33-acre site will create construction and technical jobs for the local community. Data centres require a lot of climate control measures to maintain the proper function of their machines. HVAC systems control the ambient environment (temperature, humidity, air flow and air filtering).

Debbie Weinstein, VP of Google and Managing Director of Google UK & Ireland, said: “Once complete, this investment will bring crucial compute capacity to businesses across the UK, supporting AI innovation and helping to ensure reliable digital services to Google Cloud customers and Google users in the UK and abroad.” 

According to Weinstein, it is “vital that Google invests in the technical infrastructure needed to support innovation and tech-led growth” because "people and businesses in every corner of the UK rely on data centres to power helpful services like Search, Maps, YouTube, Workspace and Google Cloud."

24/7 Carbon-free energy by 2030

Google has set out an ambitious goal to run all of its data centres and campuses on carbon-free energy (CFE), “every hour of every day by 2030”.

In 2022 Google announced a power purchase agreement with ENGIE for offshore wind energy generated by the Moray West wind farm in Scotland. This agreement will add 100 MW of energy to the grid and put Google’s UK operations on track to operate at or near 90% carbon-free energy in 2025.

Google is also exploring new and innovative ways to use the heat generated by data centres and this new facility will have provisions for off-site heat recovery. 

Weinstein said: “Off-site heat recovery presents an opportunity for energy conservation that benefits the local community, as it allows us to capture the heat generated by the data centre so that it can be used by nearby homes and businesses. The data centre is also set to deploy an air-based cooling system.”

Photo credit: Google 

Debbie Weinstein's Google blog about this investment 

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