Google breaks ground at Bridgeport data center

Almost three years after Google first announced plans to build a data center in Alabama, the search engine giant said Monday it expects to finish the first phase of the $600 million project on a portion of what was once one of TVA's biggest coal plants. "Hopefully, it will help with jobs", said Jackson County Schools Superintendent Kevin Dukes.

Writing a stern letter to the Google boss, thousands of employees are protesting the project that the company received from the Pentagon, The New York Times reports. But now, Google will be at the top of the search, as the multi-billion dollar company builds its newest data center in the town of just 23-hundred people.

Google is constructing the data center on 360 acres adjacent to the old Widows Creek coal-fired power plant, which was decommissioned in 2015 by the Tennessee Valley Authority after decades of operation.

Governor Ivey spoke to the crowd, expressing gratitude for Google's partnership with the state of Alabama as their business expands.

"As one of the world's most dynamic and innovative technology companies, Google's products touch billions of people across the globe every single day", Gov. Kay Ivey said. Schools $100,000 to boost their stem programs.

"As demand increases and we build more capacity, we start with one building and who knows where we end up", said Brenda Standridge, Google site manager.

Google has an option for more of the abandoned Widows Creek plant, which TVA is continuing to disassemble and clean up.

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Google executives joined with top Alabama elected officials in Bridgeport Monday to officially break ground on the new $600 million data center.

Google said it selected the Jackson County site because it offered the right combination of energy infrastructure and developable land. "It's great to see companies like Google recognize what we in the Tennessee Valley have known all along - that we have a tremendous pool of talent in Northern Alabama and that this is a wonderful place to live and work".

Just last week, Google announced that it purchased enough renewable energy in 2017 to match global usage from its data center and offices. Google's data centers are 50 percent more energy efficient than the industry standard.

David Hughes, the Mayor of Bridgeport, told us it will help grow the city that has about $2,300 people.

"Having Google in our area will usher in a new era for our community", Hughes said. This arrangement, and others like it throughout the country, help companies and utilities meet their renewable energy goals.

"No doubt about it - this a game-changer for us".

  • Delia Davidson