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December 13, 2016updated 12 Jul 2022 12:39pm

Google opens €600 green data centre in the Netherlands

Google strives for renewable energy with its new Netherlands data centre.

By Hannah Williams

Google has opened its new €600 million Netherlands data centre, after the initial plans for the facility were announced two years ago.

The new data centre, located in Eemshaven, Groningen, is to run fully on renewable energy, primarily from North Sea wind turbines. (see main picture)

Google is expected to create 200 jobs at the site, including the teaching of kids coding at Hanze Hogeschool, and also training students and entrepreneurs in digital skills.

Google’s passion in making its Eemshaven site green is one key element, whilst the project disclosed in its pledge was to be fully powered by renewable energy by 2017.

The search giant also previously announced it has formed partnerships in the Netherlands with leading companies, enabling the company to contribute to the Dutch renewable energy target of 14 percent by 2020.

The agreement was identified to allow Google’s new data centre, to be powered with renewable energy from day one.

In 2014, Google also signed a ten year power purchasing agreement with Eneco, the Dutch utility, to power the new facility.

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According to Google, a total of 6 million work hours went into the construction of the data centre, and houses some 16,000 km of cables.

The facility is to use water from household waste and cold air for cooling. It will be primarily powered by energy from the Delfzijl wind farm.

Google cited that the declining prices of solar and wind projects as the primary reason for its decision to create new energy from renewable sources. The reduction in the company’s carbon footprint and contribution to the effects of climate change were also key factors.

The company’s purchasing commitments in renewable energy will result in over $3.5bn in global infrastructure investments, and nearly two-thirds of that is in the US.

Urs Holze, Senior vice president, Technical Infrastructure for Google said in a blog post: “Today, we are the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable power, with commitments reaching 2.6 gigawatts (2,600 megawatts) of wind and solar energy.”

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