Google invests $700 million in carbon-neutral Danish data centre

The new site in Fredericia will continue the company's 100% green energy commitment with one of its most advanced data centres yet

Image of Intel Optane data centre

Google has announced plans to build a cutting-edge, carbon neutral data centre in Fredericia, Denmark, matching any energy consumed with 100% carbon-free energy.

Google will be investing almost $700 million in the new site, the location of which was chosen due to the country's high-quality digital infrastructure and support for renewable energy. Nordic countries are renowned for their use of cheap renewable energy sources including hydropower and wind, so it's no surprise more tech giants are setting up shop in Scandinavia.

Google's European data centres typically use one-third less energy than its sites elsewhere in the world, but the tech giant is still on a quest to use less. It will be seeking out new investment opportunities in Danish renewable energy projects called Power Purchase Agreements, it said. 

"At Google, we aim to support the communities that surround our facilities, and in the last few years we've invested almost 3.4 million euro in grants to initiatives that build the local skills base - like curriculum and coding programs, as well as educational support through teaching collaborations at area colleges. We'll also introduce initiatives like these in Fredericia," said Joe Kava, Vice President of data centres in yesterday's announcement.

The new data centre in Fredericia will be one of the most advanced and energy efficient in the company's arsenal, implementing advanced machine learning to ensure every watt of power is used effectively and efficiently.

"In a dynamic environment like a data center, it can be difficult for humans to see how all of the variables--IT load, outside air temperature, etc.-interact with each other. One thing computers are good at is seeing the underlying story in the data," Joe Kava said in a blog post. Using finely-tuned models designed by Google's engineers, it is able to maximise PUE (Power Usage Effectiveness).

This isn't the first time in recent months that Google has hit the headlines for its work in renewable energy. Back in May 2018, the company announced a partnership with Eon to provide a new service which aimed to help UK homeowners save money by switching to solar panels.

The service uses machine learning to assess data points including roof area and angle to determine a house's solar potential.

Even more recently, and continuing on the Nordic theme, Google signed a 10-year deal back in September 2018 agreeing to buy renewable energy from three new wind farms in Finland which it will use to power one of its data centres. It was the first instance where the company agreed to buy power while not receiving any government subsidies.

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