Google is going big in Iowa, with the second major investment announced this week in the form of another $200 million investment in their Council Bluffs, IA data center. A couple of days ago, the search giant announced a $75 million investment in a wind farm in Greene County, IA.
With these two new investments and the $900 million worth of existing data center investments in Council Bluffs, Google’s total investment in Iowa now stands at $1.1 billion.
This $1.1 billion includes the $300 million already invested into the Council Bluffs data center whose size will be almost doubled with the new $200 million investment. Another $600 million has been invested by Google into a second data center in Council Bluffs, IA.
No state incentives were offered to Google, although Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad was present at the Google news conference, along with Google data center manager Chris Russell and Iowa Economic Authority Development (IEAD) director Debi Durham.
“Google’s decision to continue its investment in Iowa is a tribute to the company, and to Iowa,” said Gov. Branstad. “We have worked hard to make Iowa an attractive and safe place to do business, and this is another example of that work bringing great results.”
Google’s past investment in Council Bluffs has created 130 high-tech, high-paying direct jobs. Russell said new jobs would be created in the tech and construction sectors, although he did not specify the number of jobs that would be created. He did say that they had looked at other locations for the $200 million data center investment before selecting Council Bluffs, IA.
“The number of people put back to work to rebuild $600 million is unbelievable, from those pushing dirt to laying concrete, electricians, plumbers, all those jobs that had been lost for a number of years,” said Council Bluffs Mayor Tom Hanafan.
The $75 million Google invested into the wind farm in Iowa is hardly a random foray into green energy. The timing of the two near simultaneous announcements says that Google is looking to offset the carbon footprint of their massive data centers. The Rippey Wind Farm will produce enough renewable energy to light up 15,000 Iowa homes.
Apart from the $1.1 billion investment and the resultant jobs created by Google in Council Bluffs and Iowa, Google has also awarded more than $608,000 to local schools and nonprofits. Last year, they partnered with the City of Council Bluffs to launch a free Wi-Fi network for people in Council Bluffs.