People and businesses in every corner of the UK rely on data centres to power helpful services like Search, Maps, YouTube, Workspace and Google Cloud. As more people tap into the opportunities created by the country’s digital economy and we unlock new ways for AI-powered technologies to boost productivity, fuel creativity, improve health outcomes and unlock scientific discoveries, it’s vital that we invest in the technical infrastructure needed to support innovation and tech-led growth.
One of the ways that we’re doing this is by investing $1 billion in a new UK data centre in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire. The 33-acre site will create construction and technical jobs for the local community. Once complete, this investment will bring crucial compute capacity to businesses across the UK, supporting AI innovation and helping to ensure reliable digital services to Google Cloud customers and Google users in the UK and abroad.
24/7 Carbon-free energy by 2030
As a pioneer in computing infrastructure, Google’s data centres are some of the most efficient in the world. We’ve set out our ambitious goal to run all of our data centres and campuses on carbon-free energy (CFE), every hour of every day by 2030.
In support of this goal, in 2022 Google announced a power purchase agreement with ENGIE for offshore wind energy generated by the Moray West wind farm in Scotland. This agreement will add 100 MW of energy to the grid, and put Google’s UK operations on track to operate at or near 90% carbon-free energy in 2025.
Additionally, we’re also exploring new and innovative ways to use the heat generated by data centres, and this new facility will also have provisions for off-site heat recovery. Off-site heat recovery presents an opportunity for energy conservation that benefits the local community, as it allows us to capture the heat generated by the data centre so that it can be used by nearby homes and businesses. The data centre is also set to deploy an air-based cooling system.
Our commitment to sustainability is one of the reasons that British born customers like Rightmove choose Google for their cloud computing needs. Having migrated their services to Google Cloud to further their own sustainability goals, Rightmove sees Google's commitment to decarbonize and build sustainable data centres as a crucial element in reducing the carbon impact of their digital infrastructure and helping them on their net-zero journey.
Google’s continued investment in the UK
Today’s investment in our Waltham Cross data centre is the latest in a series of investments that support Brits and the wider economy at large and is further evidence of Google’s continued commitment to the UK — a key country for our business and a pioneering world leader in AI, technology and science. This announcement builds on our investment in our offices with the $1bn purchase of our Central Saint Giles office in 2022, the 1 million sq ft. development in King's Cross, and the launch of our Accessibility Discovery Centre — which aims to spur the creation of accessible tech for the whole of the UK.
Beyond our office walls, in 2021, we laid a new subsea cable — Grace Hopper — which connects the United Kingdom with the United States and Spain. We have visited more than 500 locations across the UK since 2015 and provided over 1 million people with free digital skills training. Just last year, we expanded our Google Digital Garage training programme to also include a new AI-focussed curriculum to enable more Brits to tap into the opportunities to benefit from the opportunities created by this technology.