Google is building a new data center in Alabama – its 14th data center site globally – but this one will be built on the grounds of a coal-fired power plant, according to Google’s blog.
The Widows Creek coal power plant in Jackson County, Alabama, which has been scheduled for shutdown, will be redeveloped by Google. The company plans to repurpose existing electric and other infrastructure such as the plant’s many electric transmission lines. Google will also work with the local utility Tennessee Valley Authority to bring the power onto its electrical grid and to scout new renewable energy projects. Ultimately, Google’s goal is to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy.
The Alabama data center will also incorporate state-of-the-art energy efficiency technologies, including super-efficient servers, efficient ways to cool the data center, and advanced machine learning to squeeze more out of every watt of power consumed.
Google expects to begin construction in early 2016.
Recently, Google joined Apple and Facebook in throwing their collective weight around, sending a letter to North Carolina state legislators, opposing a bill that seeks to change policies for renewable energy and energy efficiency in the state.