Google to Invest Additional $2.3 Billion in Central Ohio Data Center Expansion

By Madz Dizon

Jun 19, 2024 03:40 AM EDT

Google to Invest Additional $2.3 Billion in Central Ohio Data Center Expansion
The San Francisco Bay Bridge is seen reflected on the entrance to a Google office on April 26, 2022 in San Francisco, California.
(Photo : Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Google has announced its plans to invest an additional $2.3 billion in central Ohio to support three data center campuses. This move demonstrates the company's commitment to expanding its presence in the region.

According to AP News, the tech giant operates multiple centers in New Albany and Lancaster, with another one currently being constructed in Columbus.

Google to Invest in Ohio Data Center

These centers play a crucial role in supporting the company's various services, including search, Gmail, maps, cloud, and YouTube, which are utilized by users worldwide. In addition to the $4.4 billion already invested in central Ohio since 2019, Google has announced its latest investment.

The company has not provided any information regarding the specifics of the investments or how they will be allocated among the various data center operations.

Data centers have spread throughout the United States and have become a valuable source of revenue for local governments. In addition, a significant amount of electricity and high-voltage transmission lines are necessary.

Data centers consume significant amounts of electricity to operate efficiently, but they do not generate a substantial number of jobs once construction is finished. The strain on the power grid is a growing concern as the demand to sustain our increasingly interconnected society continues to rise.

Google executives emphasized the energy efficiency of their data centers, while also expressing their commitment to minimizing their impact on the power grid.

Google has set a target to power all of its global data centers with carbon-free energy by 2030. In 2023, Google unveiled a collaboration with EDP Renewables to establish a 500-megawatt community-focused energy portfolio, primarily centered in Ohio.

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Power Grid Concerns

The Ohio Consumer's Counsel is closely monitoring these expansions. AEP has recently submitted a proposal to ensure that significant energy consumers, such as data centers, are held responsible for their electricity consumption.

The operators would be expected to commit to their estimated energy usage, regardless of whether they actually use it, in order to cover the cost of building up the grid to support the usage. It also aims to safeguard residential users from bearing the burden of these costs.

The OCC emphasized the importance of AEP honoring its commitment to refrain from passing on those expenses.

Consumers, particularly those who rely on AEP, are currently grappling with the prospect of a significant distribution rate hike totaling billions of dollars in the next five years, WBNS reported.

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