Google $600M Data Center in Clarksville, TN Will be 100% Powered by Renewable Energy

Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam and Google officials have announced that the company has acquired the the former Hemlock Semiconductor site in Clarksville, TN, and it will become Google’s 15th data center.


Google (photo- Nyshita talluri/wikimedia)

Google plans to invest $600 million into the project, which will be their eighth data center in the United States and 15th globally. The company expects to create 70 new jobs at the new data center.

Governor Haslam said in a release that “This is one of the world’s most well-known brands, so it says a lot for our state that it will soon be home to Google’s eighth U.S. data center.”

Tennessee Economic and Community Development Commissioner Randy Boyd added that “To have a company like Google choose our state for its newest data center means a great deal as it will not only add to Clarksville’s business landscape, but it will also provide new opportunities for our workforce.”

In a post on the Google Green Blog, Google Vice President for Data Center Operations, Joe Kava said that “We’ll be able to re-use much of the existing infrastructure, and will recycle and re-design what we don’t. Based on our assessments, this site will be able to house new technologies we’re currently testing in research & development, which would make this data center the most technologically advanced in the world.”

Kava also noted that the arrangement with Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) will enable them to scout new renewable energy projects and work with them to bring that power onto their electrical grid. Google has already signed 2 gigawatts of renewable energy supply contracts to offset the power used across their portfolio of data centers – equivalent to taking nearly 1 million cars off the road.

The roughly 1,300 acre site will be powered 100 percent by renewable energy thanks to the arrangement with the TVA. The site in question is a TVA certified megasite at the Commerce Park (1000 Solar Way) in Clarksville that was formerly the Hemlock Semiconductor plant. Dow Corning and HSC selected it in Dec 2008 for a $1.2 billion project with 500 jobs, but it was never completed.

This is Google’s second successive data center deal with TVA, following the company’s decision earlier this year to invest $600 million to establish a data center on TVA’s Widows Creek soon-to-be retired coal plant site in North Alabama.

TVA President and CEO Bill Johnson said in the release that “Collaboration is vital to economic development. Today we recognize a notable result of the ongoing collaboration among state and local government, the business community and TVA to attract good jobs and sustainable investments to our region.”

Google will also launch a formal community grants program in partnership with City and County officials to support science and technology education, carbon reduction and access to the Internet in the area.

Clarksville Mayor Kim McMillan said in the release that “From a regional perspective, this is a very exciting announcement…Google’s investment in Clarksville-Montgomery County is proof that the technology industry is a significant part of that growth.”

Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett added that “Google is a household name, with a history of being great community partners. We not only look forward to working with them, but to also watching them grow their data center operations in our area.”

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