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Google Announces A Data Center In The UK

Google claims that its $1 billion investment in a new data center in the UK will help it fulfill the “growing demand” for its cloud and artificial intelligence services.

The 33-acre location in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, will provide businesses with much-needed compute power, fostering AI research and guaranteeing dependable digital services for both Google Cloud users and regular consumers who depend on services like YouTube, Maps, and Search.

The data center “represents our latest investment in the UK and the wider digital economy,” according to Ruth Porat, president and top financial officer of Alphabet. She continued by saying that it builds on earlier investments made in the Grace Hopper undersea cable, which connects the UK with the US and Spain, Saint Giles and Kings Cross offices, and a multi-year research agreement with Cambridge.

According to Porat, the establishment would provide construction and technical employment for the local community while “helping meet the growing demand for our AI and cloud services and bringing crucial compute capacity to businesses across the UK.”

Google, a leader in computer infrastructure, maintains some of the most energy-efficient data centers globally and has committed to running them exclusively on carbon-free energy by 2030.

Google and ENGIE struck an agreement last year for 100MW of offshore wind energy from Scotland’s Moray West farm, putting UK businesses on track to use 90% renewable energy by 2025.

The new data center will include an air-cooling system in addition to recovering heat for nearby residences and businesses.

The new data center, according to Porat, is proof of the company’s “continued commitment to the UK” and the “latest in a series of investments that support Brits and the wider economy.” Additional investments include building the one million square foot King’s Cross complex, investing $1 billion for its Central Saint Giles office property, and creating an Accessibility Discovery Center to promote accessible technologies.

To capitalize on the demand for the technology, Google has extended its AI-focused Digital Garage curriculum and trained over a million British citizens in digital skills in addition to building offices, data centers, and subsea cables. 

Google’s statement comes after Microsoft confirmed in November that it will build a £2.5 billion data center in the UK once it cleared regulatory obstacles to complete its £55 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard.

According to HM Treasury, “This is the single largest investment in its 40-year history in the country, helping to meet the exploding demand for efficient, scalable, and sustainable AI-specific compute power.” Microsoft will expand its UK AI infrastructure across sites in London and Cardiff, with potential expansion into northern England.

“Data centers handle, house, and retain the enormous volumes of digital data necessary for creating artificial intelligence models.”

More than 20,000 cutting-edge GPUs are being provided by Microsoft to its UK data center for machine learning and the creation of novel AI models.

“The UK is the tech hub of Europe with an ecosystem worth more than that of Germany and France combined,” Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt declared. “This investment is another vote of confidence in us as a science superpower.”